United States

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United States of America Population: 307 465 000 Life expectancy: 78.1 years Fertility rate: 2.05 children/woman School life expectancy: 16 years Religion: Protestant Christian (51,3%), Roman Catholic Christian (23.9%), Non-religious (16.1%), Mormon (1.7%), Jewish (1.7%), Other (5.3%) The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower in the world. The country accounts for approximately 50% of global military spending and is a leading economic, political and cultural force. Decisions made in America echoes across the world. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 will continue to impact America – its identity as a land of “freedom,” its understanding of different faiths and its involvement in global politics. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs.

Concerns Health Care Unlike in all other developed countries, health care coverage in the United States is not universal. In 2004, private insurance paid for 36% of personal health expenditures, private out-of-pocket payments covered 15%, and federal, state, and local governments paid for 44%. In 2005, 15.9% of the population were uninsured. The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans— estimates of which vary widely—is a major political issue. War on terror After the September 11 attacks on the WTC, the US started what we often refer to as a “war on terror.” Both the term and the policies it denotes have been a source of ongoing controversy, as critics argue it has been used to justify unilateral preemptive war, human rights abuses and other violations of international law. The US government has a difficult task in balancing the threat of terrorism with the controversy of military operations in foreign countries. Energy The US is the world’s larges energy consumer. The country depends on importing large amounts of oil, some of which comes from controversial sources such as Saudi Arabia. The economy is strongly dependent on the oil price. There are also big environmental issues, as the most important sources of the energy are the fossil fuels: Oil, coal and gas.

Head of Government: President Barack Obama Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. The National Journal ranked him as the "most liberal" senator based on an assessment of selected votes during 2007; in 2005 he was ranked sixteenth most liberal, and in 2006 he was ranked tenth. Throughout his general election campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence and providing universal health care. During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.

Suggested prayer topics • Pray for all those who can’t afford health care, and for those who now face the prohibitive challenges of illness without insurance. Pray that the political leaders can find a good solution to the health care challenges in the US. Pray for all those who make difficult decisions in respect to the war on terror, including the soldiers, the officers and the political leaders Pray for the challenges in respect to energy. Pray for the environment and pollution challenges Pray for the political leaders of the United States, that they may reign wisely for the benefit of their country and for the world Pray for the advancement of justice and selfless love and in the United States

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