THE ESTADO LIBRE Asociado de Puerto Rico is a densely populated island in the eastern Greater Antilles in the CARIBBEAN SEA, divided into 78 counties.
Even though it is a possession of the UNITED STATES, Puerto Rico is an independent commonwealth and has selfgovernance in all its local affairs.
The rectangularshaped, mostly mountainous volcanic island is approximately 100 mi (160 km) east to west and 35 mi (56 km), north to south and has a total land area of 3,515 square mi (9,103 square km).
Four other satellite islands-Mona, Desecheo, Culebra, and Vieques-are also under its control.
Puerto Rico's warm and humid tropical weather varies little throughout the year and is often interrupted by hurricane season from June to November.
San Juan, its largest and oldest city, is also its capital.
Other large cities include Ponce, Mayaguez, and Caguas.
The 2004 estimated population was 3,898,000.
Boriquen was the name given for Puerto Rico by its primary inhabitants, the Taino, at the time Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493.
The Spanish, in search of gold and resources, eventually wiped out the natives by disease, war, and slavery.
In 1511, Puerto Rico became the first Spanish colony in the New World and was attacked periodically by the British and Dutch.
Many African slaves later arrived to work on the sugar plantations.
The island remained in Spanish hands until after the Spanish American War, when it became part of the United States.
Today, there is an ongoing debate between gaining complete independence, keeping its commonwealth status, or becoming the 51st state.
Puerto Rico has a very distinctive and mixed culture, influenced by its Taino, Spanish, African, and American heritages.
Approximately 80 percent of the population is white, 8 percent African, and 12 percent mixed or other ethnicities.
Both Spanish and English are spoken, and the majority of the population is Roman Catholic.
The island's varied topography can be divided into four main regions.
Much of the interior of the island is covered by the Cordillera Central, the central mountain range, which contains the island's highest point, Cerro de Punta at 4,390 ft (1,338 m), and El Yunque rainforest, also known as Caribbean National Forest.
On the north part of the island is an area of foothills called the Karst Country, made up of beautiful limestone rock formations and underground rivers.
On the southwest corner of Puerto Rico is a region of coastal dry forest, made up of desert trees, cacti, bedrock, and many migratory birds, that is environmentally different from other moister parts of the island.
The fourth geographical zone is the narrow coastal plain around the perimeter of Puerto Rico, which includes beautiful sunny beaches, bioluminescent bays, and cities that help make Puerto Rico a popular tourist destination.
There are 45 nonnavigable rivers in total in Puerto Rico which flow into the coastal plain, the longest being Rio Grande de Loiza.
Puerto Rico has no natural lakes and 12 artificial reservoirs.
Common environmental concerns include population growth, urbanization, deforestation, water pollution, and soil erosion.
Puerto Rico's diverse economy is almost equally divided in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) by manufacturing, especially chemical and pharmaceutical production, and service industries, including tourism.
Agriculture contributes 2 percent of the nation's GDP, and tourism 6 percent.
The island's primary natural resources are clay, limestone, salt, sand, gravel, stone, copper, nickel, and petroleum.
- The court has prohibited the crow to fly because of stealing tourists’ valuable things
"The British Court has issued the decision on the case of the crow that was violating public order. The royal bird Izzy that lives in the Knaresborough castle in North Yorkshire is famous for being fond of stealing cellphones and cameras from careless tourists.
The Court has restricted the crow to fly until the violator changes its conduct. The way it will be monitored stays unknown.
It is interesting that besides stealing an 8-year crow was also dropping the F-bombs. Probably these were the visitors of the castle who taught the crow to turn the air blue. An eight-year old Izzy has got a warning message for abusing people. "
- American civil pilots are getting queasy
"During the week two men who were piloting a civil plane felt sickish.
The United Airlines flight routing from Huston to San Francisco with 187 people aboard, including the crew group suddenly the pilot became ill and incapacitated. Therefore, the pilot-captain had to make an emergency landing.
Before that there had been another accident. American Airlines plane from Boston to Phoenix had to make an emergency landing at the Syracuse Airport because one of the pilots died. The stewardess, who provided first hand medical attention failed to save him. There were 147 people onboard that day. "