The US Central Intelligence Agency has recently released the 1999 version of its well-known annual country information reference book (last described in the February 5, 1999 Scout Report
). Data is available for more than 260 countries. For each country, map and flag, geographic, population, government, economic, communication, transportation, military, and transnational issue information is provided for the latest date available (January 1, 1999 in most cases). "Included among the 266 geographic listings is one for the 'World,' which includes data and other information summarized where possible from the other 265 listings." There are also eighteen reference maps in .pdf or .jpg format and eight appendices. Linked to from hundreds of sites, the World Factbook is widely recognized as one of the finest online resources for quick country information.
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