Back when Matt Cutts asked about what features we would like to see in Webmaster Console (no - he didn't ask Distilled, he asked everyone!), I, along with many other non-US webmasters votes for the ability to tell Google the correct country and language for your site.
Now, via Vannessa Fox (who used to run the webmaster console but is now at Zillow), we hear that they have done it. Vanessa's write-up on Search Engine Land is a great intro into why this is so important. Here is the official announcement.
I think this story stands alone - nothing much to add. Stay tuned for more than just us repeating news!