The CIA Factbook 2008 may be read online:
A short entry on each topic for every country is included:
- Transnational Issues (like human trafficking, transhipment of drugs)
These reports are great if you have time to devote to a more indepth study of custom and culture of an area. The CIA FACT BOOK is the Cliff Notes to this website.
The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 178 countries and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.
The International Public Library is available online and provides travel guides, international newspapers, almanacs, religious and cultural calendars, convertors and calculators, and the famous tipping page.
THE SIL BIBLIOGRAPHY
It contains over 13,000 references to books, journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, and other academic papers about languages and cultures. The Bibliography also has about 8,000 references for materials written in the languages we study, such as literacy books, instructional books on other basic education topics (health, math, social studies), story and folk tale books, and translated works.
The USDOS has information about travel and business, passports, travel tips and warnings.
Especially helpful might be the Background Notes that include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. A listing of Foreign Consular Offices in the United States will save you time.
If there is an interest in this type of information, please leave a comment. If you have specific questions, I may be able to help.
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