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November 2015



On Friday, November 13, 2015, elements of Islamic State attacked several locations in Paris, France. Over 150 people lost their lives in these acts of terrorism.

France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing De Gaulle's 1966 decision to withdraw French forces from NATO. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999.

France, slightly smaller than Texas, is located in Central Europe. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper. European France enjoys generally cool winters and mild summers, however, along the Mediterranean coast it experiences mild winters and hot summers. With the exceptions of the Pyrenees in the south and the Alps in the east, France's terrain is mostly flat plains and gently rolling hills. Its European resources include: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, and fish. Hazards facing European France include: flooding, avalanches, midwinter windstorms, drought, and forest fires along the Mediterranean coast.

CIA World Factbook, 11/2015