Amsterdam (/ˈæmstərdæm, ˌæmstərˈdæm/; Dutch: [ɑmstərˈdɑm]) is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper, 1,351,587 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.
Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was ranked 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The Amsterdam seaport to this day remains the second in the country, and the fifth largest seaport in Europe.
Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza.
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. Amsterdam's main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 5 million international visitors annually....LESS
BRUSSELS (AP) — A car struck pedestrians around Amsterdam's main train station on Saturday, injuring eight people. There was "no indication whatsoever" it was an extremist attack, police said. Six of the injured were hospitalized, with two of them in serious condition, police spokeswoman Marjolein Koek said.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — PPG Industries is retreating from its attempt to take over AkzoNobel after repeated refusals to negotiate by the Dutch chemicals company. There has been an aggressive push to consolidate in the industry because of falling revenue and thin margins.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two male griffon vultures in a long-standing relationship have successfully hatched an abandoned egg at an Amsterdam zoo. Artis zoo said in a statement Wednesday that keepers who found an egg found on the floor of the vulture aviary initially put it in an incubator but later placed in a nest that the two male birds built together in the enclosure.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A South Korean woman wanted for questioning in connection with a major corruption probe in her home country was extradited Tuesday, Danish authorities said. Denmark's top prosecution authority says Chung Yoo-ra, who dropped her opposition to extradition, left with officials from South Korea's justice department.