Wikipedia ( mirror)

Wikipedia is a Web-based, free-content encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers and sponsored by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. It contains entries both on traditional encyclopedic topics and on almanac, gazetteer, and current events topics. Its purpose is to create and distribute a free international encyclopedia in as many languages as possible. Wikipedia is the most popular reference site on the internet, receiving tens of millions of hits per day.

The English section of Wikipedia has over 2 million articles and is growing fast. It is edited by volunteers in wiki fashion, meaning articles are subject to change by nearly anyone. Wikipedia's volunteers enforce a policy of "neutral point of view" whereby views presented about notable persons or literature are summarized without an attempt to determine an objective truth. Because of its open nature, vandalism and inaccuracy are problems in Wikipedia.

The status of Wikipedia as a reference work has been controversial, and it is both praised for its free distribution, free editing and wide range of topics and criticized for alleged systemic biases, preference of consensus to credentials, deficiencies in some topics, and lack of accountability and authority when compared with traditional encyclopedias. Its articles have been cited by the mass media and academia and are available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. It produces 17% of the UK's GDP and the City of London is one of the world's major financial centres. The former capital of a global empire, London is pre-eminent in the culture, communications, politics, finance, and arts of its country, and has considerable influence worldwide. Alongside New York City, Paris, and Tokyo, London is often listed among the four major global cities.

The estimated population, as of 1 January 2005, was 7,421,228 in Greater London, and several million more in London's metropolitan area(see the Demographics section below), easily making London the largest city in the UK. Its population includes a very diverse range of peoples, cultures, and religions, making it one of the most cosmopolitancities in Europe, and the world. Many of the world's wealthiest people are also permanent or temporary residents.