Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders known under its original name Reporters Sans Frontières, is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Paris that conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders has two primary spheres of activity: one is focused on Internet censorship and the new media, the other on providing material and psychological assistance to journalists assigned to dangerous areas, its missions are to continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide, denounce any such attacks in the media, act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families and offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety. Reporters Without Borders was founded in 1985 by Robert Ménard, Rémy Loury, Jacques Molénat and Émilien Jubineau, in Montpellier, France.
Its head office is in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. RWB maintains offices in Berlin, Geneva, Rome, Tunis and Washington, D. C, their first office in Asia, located in Taipei, Taiwan opened in July 2017. Taiwan has been rated the top Asian nation in RSF’s Press Freedom Index for five consecutive years, since 2013, ranked 45th in 2017. At first, the association worked to promote alternative journalism, but there were disagreements between the founders. Only Ménard remained and he changed the organization's direction towards promoting freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders states that it draws its inspiration from Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which everyone has "the right to freedom of opinion and expression" and the right to "seek and impart" information and ideas "regardless of frontiers". Ménard was RWB's first Secretary General. Jean-François Julliard succeeded Ménard in 2008. Christophe Deloire succeeded Julliard in July 2012. Reporters Without Borders' primary means of direct action are appeals to government authorities through letters or petitions, as well as frequent press releases.
Through its world-wide network of 150 correspondents, RWB gathers information and conducts investigations of press freedom violations by region or topic. If necessary, it will send a team of its own to assess working conditions for journalists in a specific country, it releases annual reports on countries as well as the Press Freedom Index. It has launched advertising campaigns with the pro bono assistance of advertising firms to raise public awareness of threats to freedom of information and freedom of the press, to undermine the image of countries that it considers enemies of freedom of expression, to discourage political support by the international community for governments that attack rather than protect freedom of information. RWB provides assistance for journalists and media who are either in danger or are having difficulty subsisting, they provide money to assist exiled or imprisoned journalists and their families and the unsupported families of journalists who have been killed. Reporters Without Borders is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a virtual network of non-governmental organizations that monitors free expression violations worldwide and defends journalists and others who are persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
RWB has a presence in 150 countries through local correspondents who act as information relays and through close collaborations with local and regional press freedom groups, including: Through the years RWB has received a number of awards, including: 2014: City of Bonn's 2014 DemokratiePreis. 2013: received the "Freedom of Speech Award" from the International Association of Press Clubs, in Warsaw. 2012: received the "Club Internacional de Prensa" Award, in Madrid. 2009: shared the "Roland Berger Human Dignity Award" with Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. 2009: received the "Médaille Charlemagne" for European Media. 2008: received the "Kahlil Gibran Award for Institutional Excellence" from the Arab American Institute Foundation. 2007: received the "Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award" from Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the "Dawit Isaak Prize" from Swedish Publicists' Association. 2006: received an International Emmy Award from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
2005: shared the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for "Freedom of Thought" with Nigerian human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim and Cuba's Ladies in White movement. 1997: received the "Journalism and Democracy Prize" from the Parliament Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 1992: received the "Lorenzo Natali Prize" from the European Commission for defending human rights and democracy. Reporters Without Borders issues press releases, fact finding reports, periodical publications, it publishes periodic mission reports on developments in individual countries or regions or on a specific topic. Each December it publishes an annual overview of events related to freedom of information and the safety of journalists, it maintains a web site accessible in six languages (French, Spanish, Arabic
Web hosting service
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity in a data center. Web hosts can provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation known as Housing in Latin America or France; until 1991, the Internet was restricted to use only...for research and education in the sciences and engineering... and was used for email, telnet, FTP and USENET traffic - but only a tiny number of web pages. The World Wide Web protocols had only just been written and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. After there was some opening up of internet access, the situation was confused until 1995. To host a website on the internet, an individual or company would need their own server.
As not all companies had the budget or expertise to do this, web hosting services began to offer to host users' websites on their own servers, without the client needing to own the necessary infrastructure required to operate the website. The owners of the websites called webmasters, would be able to create a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the web by the web hosting service; as the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence grew. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities and Tripod were offering free hosting; the most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol or a Web interface. The files are delivered to the Web "as is" or with minimal processing. Many Internet service providers offer this service free to subscribers. Individuals and organizations may obtain Web page hosting from alternative service providers.
Free web hosting service is offered by different companies with limited services, sometimes supported by advertisements, limited when compared to paid hosting. Single page hosting is sufficient for personal web pages. Personal web site hosting is free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting has a higher expense depending upon the size and type of the site. Many large companies that are not Internet service providers need to be permanently connected to the web to send email, etc. to other sites. The company may use the computer as a website host to provide details of their goods and services and facilities for online orders. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms; these facilities allow customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Secure Sockets Layer is used for websites that wish to keep the data transmitted more secure. Internet hosting services can run Web servers.
The scope of web hosting services varies greatly. One's website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few sites to hundreds of websites. All domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU; the features available with this type of service can be quite basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers sell shared web hosting and web companies have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients. Allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves. Known as a Virtual Private Server, divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware.
VPS will be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server or the VPS provider may provide server admin tasks for the customer; the user gains full control over it. One type of dedicated hosting is unmanaged; this is the least expensive for dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated server; the user is not allowed full control over it. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or create configuration problems; the user does not own the server. The server is leased to the client. Similar to the dedicated web hosting service.
Linux is a family of free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy. Popular Linux distributions include Debian and Ubuntu. Commercial distributions include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system such as X11 or Wayland, a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma. Distributions intended for servers may omit graphics altogether, include a solution stack such as LAMP; because Linux is redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose. Linux was developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system.
Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3 percent of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20 percent of sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is built into the firmware and is tailored to the system. This includes routers, automation controls, digital video recorders, video game consoles, smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run other Linux derivatives; because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of open-source software collaboration; the source code may be used and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in 1969, at AT&T's Bell Laboratories in the United States by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna. First released in 1971, Unix was written in assembly language, as was common practice at the time. In a key pioneering approach in 1973, it was rewritten in the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie; the availability of a high-level language implementation of Unix made its porting to different computer platforms easier. Due to an earlier antitrust case forbidding it from entering the computer business, AT&T was required to license the operating system's source code to anyone who asked; as a result, Unix grew and became adopted by academic institutions and businesses. In 1984, AT&T divested itself of Bell Labs; the GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed of free software. Work began in 1984. In 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License in 1989.
By the early 1990s, many of the programs required in an operating system were completed, although low-level elements such as device drivers and the kernel, called GNU/Hurd, were stalled and incomplete. Linus Torvalds has stated that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time, he would not have decided to write his own. Although not released until 1992, due to legal complications, development of 386BSD, from which NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD descended, predated that of Linux. Torvalds has stated that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he would not have created Linux. MINIX was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor, released in 1987 as a minimal Unix-like operating system targeted at students and others who wanted to learn the operating system principles. Although the complete source code of MINIX was available, the licensing terms prevented it from being free software until the licensing changed in April 2000. In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Torvalds became curious about operating systems.
Frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which at the time limited it to educational use only, he began to work on his own operating system kernel, which became the Linux kernel. Torvalds began the development of the Linux kernel on MINIX and applications written for MINIX were used on Linux. Linux matured and further Linux kernel development took place on Linux systems. GNU applications replaced all MINIX components, because it was advantageous to use the available code from the GNU Project with the fledgling operating system. Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license, which prohibited commercial redistribution, to the GNU GPL. Developers worked to integrate GNU components with the Linux kernel, making a functional and free operating system. Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention "Freax", a portmant
Atos is a European IT services corporation with its headquarters in Bezons and offices worldwide. It specialises in hi-tech transactional services, unified communications, big data and cybersecurity services. Atos operates worldwide under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Healthcare, Atos Worldgrid, Canopy and Worldline; the company was formed in 1997 through a merger of two French IT companies. V. in 2000 to become Atos Origin. It subsequently acquired KPMG Consulting in 2002 and SchlumbergerSema in 2004. In 2010 Atos Origin announced the buyout of Siemens IT Solutions and Services and finalized the acquisition in July 2011. Afterwards, the company name reverted to Atos. In April 2018, Atos partnered with Google Cloud to help offer secure artificial intelligence solutions. In 1996, Origin B. V. was created after a merger of the Dutch company BSO and the Philips C&P division, while a year in 1997, Atos was created following a merger of the French companies Axime and Sligos. In 2001, Atos Origin sold its Nordic operations to WM-data.
In 2002, it made a major acquisition by buying KPMG Consulting in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands. In 2004, it acquired SchlumbergerSema, the IT service division of Schlumberger and took over the infrastructure division of ITELLIUM, a subsidiary of KarstadtQuelle. At the same time, the company created a new subsidiary, Atos Worldline, the renaming of its consulting activities as Atos Consulting. In 2004, Atos Origin Australia, originating from Philips, was sold to Fujitsu. In 2005, Atos Origin sold its activities in the Nordic region, which had become part of the company with the acquisition of Sema Group, to WM-data while in 2006, Atos Origin sold its operations in the Middle East to local management. In October 2007, Philippe Germond replaced longtime CEO Bernard Bourigeaud. Two shareholders, the hedge funds Centaurus Capital and Pardus Capital, tried to gain control over the company via the supervisory board. In November 2008, the boardroom battle came to an end when Thierry Breton replaced Philippe Germond as chairman and CEO.
In August 2010 Atos Origin acquired Indian payment company Venture Infotek. In December 2010 Atos Origin agreed to acquire the IT Solutions and Services subsidiary of Siemens for €850 million; as part of the transaction, Siemens agreed to take a 15% stake in the enlarged Atos, to be held for a minimum of five years. The company dropped the "Origin" suffix of its name in July 2011 after completing its acquisition of the Siemens unit. In November 2011 Atos and software services provider Ufida International Holdings formed the joint venture Yunano; the two companies invested €5.7 million. Atos has 70 percent and UFIDA has 30 percent; the joint venture has its HQ in a suburb of Paris. In 2012 Atos announced; the CEO is Philippe Llorens. In 2011 Atos introduced a Zero Email initiative, banning email as a form of internal communications, except for use with customers and prospects; as part of the initiative, Atos acquired the French software company blueKiwi in early 2012, rolling out their ZEN social networking software across its organisation.
In August 2014 Atos announced that it had acquired a controlling stake in Bull SA through a tender offer launched in May. Atos announced plans in October 2014 to buy out or squeeze out the remaining share and bondholders of Bull. On 19 December 2014 Atos announced the acquisition of Xerox's IT Outsourcing business for US$1,050,000,000, tripling the size of the North American business; the unit contains 9,800 employees and operates in 45 countries. The transaction closed on 30 June 2015. Atos activities are organized in four divisions: Infrastructure & Data Management: Datacenter management, service desk and unified communications. Positioned as a vendor of holistic digital transformation, Atos builds on four pillars within its Digital Transformation Factory: Cloud_computing: implementation and management of private and hybrid clouds. Digital Workplace: digital end-user support and unified communications services and products derived from the Unify acquisition. In September 2017, Atos has been recognized by Everest Group as a global leader - the only European one - for workplace services, consisting of mobility and security services in as-a-service mode, service desk and unified communications.
SAP HANA: implementation and management of integrated enterprise resource planning software SAP HANA. Atos Codex: end-to-end analytics suite including business analytics and predictive analytics solutions. After the Xerox ITO acquisition, North America has become Atos's largest business unit. According to a National Audit Office report on the government's four biggest suppliers, Atos earned £700 million in revenue from the public sector in the UK in 2012. Atos holds £3 billion worth of UK government contracts providing services to a wide range of organizations including NHS Scotland, Home Office, Welsh Government, the Ministry of Defence, Transport for Greater Manchester, the BBC and a multimillion outsourcing contract to NS&I. In the United Kingdom, from 1998 - 2015 the company was at the centre of a controversy over the management of contracts by their healthcare division of the Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions. In January 2017, Atos secured a five-year contract as key IT partner of the Western Australian state government.
Extendable for an additional five
A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of called programs; these programs enable computers to perform an wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system, peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system; this term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster. Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices; this includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones. The Internet is run on computers and it connects hundreds of millions of other computers and their users.
Early computers were only conceived as calculating devices. Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century; the first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. The speed and versatility of computers have been increasing ever since then. Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element a central processing unit, some form of memory; the processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information. Peripheral devices include input devices, output devices, input/output devices that perform both functions. Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word "computer" was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: "I haue read the truest computer of Times, the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, he reduceth thy dayes into a short number." This usage of the term referred to a human computer, a person who carried out calculations or computations. The word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. During the latter part of this period women were hired as computers because they could be paid less than their male counterparts. By 1943, most human computers were women. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations; the Online Etymology Dictionary gives the first attested use of "computer" in the 1640s, meaning "one who calculates". The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the use of the term to mean "'calculating machine' is from 1897."
The Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that the "modern use" of the term, to mean "programmable digital electronic computer" dates from "1945 under this name. Devices have been used to aid computation for thousands of years using one-to-one correspondence with fingers; the earliest counting device was a form of tally stick. Record keeping aids throughout the Fertile Crescent included calculi which represented counts of items livestock or grains, sealed in hollow unbaked clay containers; the use of counting rods is one example. The abacus was used for arithmetic tasks; the Roman abacus was developed from devices used in Babylonia as early as 2400 BC. Since many other forms of reckoning boards or tables have been invented. In a medieval European counting house, a checkered cloth would be placed on a table, markers moved around on it according to certain rules, as an aid to calculating sums of money; the Antikythera mechanism is believed to be the earliest mechanical analog "computer", according to Derek J. de Solla Price.
It was designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered in 1901 in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, has been dated to c. 100 BC. Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later. Many mechanical aids to calculation and measurement were constructed for astronomical and navigation use; the planisphere was a star chart invented by Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī in the early 11th century. The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world in either the 1st or 2nd centuries BC and is attributed to Hipparchus. A combination of the planisphere and dioptra, the astrolabe was an analog computer capable of working out several different kinds of problems in spherical astronomy. An astrolabe incorporating a mechanical calendar computer and gear-wheels was invented by Abi Bakr of Isfahan, Persia in 1235. Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī invented the first mechanical geared lunisolar calendar astrolabe, an early fixed-wired knowledge processing machine with a gear train and gear-wheels, c. 1000 AD.
The sector, a calculating instrument used for solving problems in proportion, trigonometry and division, for various functions, such as squares and cube roots, was developed in
Computer hardware includes the physical, tangible parts or components of a computer, such as the cabinet, central processing unit, keyboard, computer data storage, graphics card, sound card and motherboard. By contrast, software is instructions that can be run by hardware. Hardware is so-termed because it rigid with respect to changes or modifications. Intermediate between software and hardware is "firmware", software, coupled to the particular hardware of a computer system and thus the most difficult to change but among the most stable with respect to consistency of interface; the progression from levels of "hardness" to "softness" in computer systems parallels a progression of layers of abstraction in computing. Hardware is directed by the software to execute any command or instruction. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system, although other systems exist with only hardware components; the template for all modern computers is the Von Neumann architecture, detailed in a 1945 paper by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann.
This describes a design architecture for an electronic digital computer with subdivisions of a processing unit consisting of an arithmetic logic unit and processor registers, a control unit containing an instruction register and program counter, a memory to store both data and instructions, external mass storage, input and output mechanisms. The meaning of the term has evolved to mean a stored-program computer in which an instruction fetch and a data operation cannot occur at the same time because they share a common bus; this is referred to as the Von Neumann bottleneck and limits the performance of the system. The personal computer known as the PC, is one of the most common types of computer due to its versatility and low price. Laptops are very similar, although they may use lower-power or reduced size components, thus lower performance; the computer case encloses most of the components of the system. It provides mechanical support and protection for internal elements such as the motherboard, disk drives, power supplies, controls and directs the flow of cooling air over internal components.
The case is part of the system to control electromagnetic interference radiated by the computer, protects internal parts from electrostatic discharge. Large tower cases provide extra internal space for multiple disk drives or other peripherals and stand on the floor, while desktop cases provide less expansion room. All-in-one style designs include a video display built into the same case. Portable and laptop computers require cases. A current development in laptop computers is a detachable keyboard, which allows the system to be configured as a touch-screen tablet. Hobbyists may decorate the cases with colored lights, paint, or other features, in an activity called case modding. A power supply unit converts alternating current electric power to low-voltage DC power for the internal components of the computer. Laptops are capable of running from a built-in battery for a period of hours; the motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.
Components directly attached to or to part of the motherboard include: The CPU, which performs most of the calculations which enable a computer to function, is sometimes referred to as the brain of the computer. It is cooled by a heatsink and fan, or water-cooling system. Most newer CPUs include an on-die graphics processing unit; the clock speed of CPUs governs how fast it executes instructions, is measured in GHz. Many modern computers have the option to overclock the CPU which enhances performance at the expense of greater thermal output and thus a need for improved cooling; the chipset, which includes the north bridge, mediates communication between the CPU and the other components of the system, including main memory. Random-access memory, which stores the code and data that are being accessed by the CPU. For example, when a web browser is opened on the computer it takes up memory. RAM comes on DIMMs in the sizes 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, but can be much larger. Read-only memory, which stores the BIOS that runs when the computer is powered on or otherwise begins execution, a process known as Bootstrapping, or "booting" or "booting up".
The BIOS includes power management firmware. Newer motherboards use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface instead of BIOS. Buses that connect the CPU to various internal components and to expand cards for graphics and sound; the CMOS battery, which powers the memory for date and time in the BIOS chip. This battery is a watch battery; the video card, which processes computer graphics. More powerful graphics cards are better suited to handle strenuous tasks, such as playing intensive video games. An expansion card in computing is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot of a computer motherboard or
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona