Background Notes http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/
This link from the U.S. Department of State includes “facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations” of various countries.
CIA World Factbook
Online resource from the Central Intelligence Agency that contains geographical information indexed by country.
Country briefings from The Economist, includes “news, country profiles, forecasts, statistics and more.” A “Cities Guide” link is also included.
Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions,” from BBC News.
Basic country profiles and maps are accessible on this website without a subscription.