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Nelson Mandela, South African Icon of Peaceful Resistance, Is Dead

Nelson Mandela, South African Icon of Peaceful Resistance, Is Dead | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Mr. Mandela’s decades in prison and insistence on forgiveness over vengeance made him a potent symbol of the struggle to end his country’s system of racial domination.
Al Picozzi's insight:

Dont't know if anyone has seen this yet, but the world lost a great man today.  To come to power after all the persecution he and his people suffered and not take revenge, but adopt a policy of forgiveness and to move on to better his country just shows what an amzing man he was.

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HowStuffWorks "Why is the Sahel shifting?"

HowStuffWorks "Why is the Sahel shifting?" | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The Sahel, the band of land that divides the Saharrah from Africa's rainforests, is shifting. Learn about the Sahel.
Al Picozzi's insight:

Alot of factors are casuing this change.  Lack of rainfall from a shifting climate due to warmer oceans, exterme population growth that is effecting the straining the carrying capacity of the area beyond its limit, farming in a way that destorys the soil and not allowing the soil to absorb what rainfall does fall.  All of this combined it allowing the desert to expand into the Sahel area.  There are ways to stop some of what is going on, like the article states in Nigeria they are changing how the people farm, by leaving the tress in place that hold the soil and allow it to retain the rain that does fall is just one example.  This area needs more than money thrown at it inorder to survive.  People have to be taught how to use the area in a way that will both sustain them and still keep the area arable.

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Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood

Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The shocking footage, which emerged only yesterday, shows the moment terrified men, women and children run for their lives from the attackers
Al Picozzi's insight:

This just show how terrorism is a fact a life even in Africa.  The Somali based terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attck in response to Kenya attacking al-Shabab in Somalia.  Kenya said it attacked into Somalia in response to the terroist activity of al-Shabab.  It is a vicious circle.  Also it has come out that the terrorists did come there with the express purpose of killing non-Muslims as they let them identify themselves and leave the mall.  With Somalia still really lawless and no central governement it is likely these attacks will continue.  This will prompt Kenya, and I believe other countries in Africa to try and control these groups even if in Somalia.  This will just continue the cycle.  The first step to stop this is to get a government in Somalia.  In a related story, see http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/09/2013923205423372989.html the FM of Kenya states the the group al-Shabab is under the control of al-Qaeda which shows that this group is still very active.

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AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Despite the gains, more Africans still die from Malaria even as the spotlight remains firmly fixed on HIV/AIDS.

Via Seth Dixon
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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 10:41 AM

This infographic shows how pervasive disease is in Africa. Though HIV gets a lot of attention, malaria and tuberculosis are just as prevalent as HIV/AIDS. The attention given to HIV/AIDS is reflected in the amount of aid sent to Africa, with a significant amount more being spent to halt the spread of HIV. These efforts are not entirely in vain as there have been decreases for all three diseases, but the funding necessary to make serious progress not on its way.

 

Though there is an even greater need to fight malaria, more international aid for HIV/AIDS is likely because most of the countries sending aid are not as familiar with malaria and HIV/AIDS has become sensationalized.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:52 PM

Disease is a global problem. Not having enough resources to keep diseases such as malaria out of Africa is unfortunate. People are dying every day and in efforts to save these people, it still can't be done. In the past, AIDS was the main disease that killed people in Africa. More recently, malaria is working its way through humans and killing them more than AIDS.

TavistockCollegeGeog's curator insight, July 4, 2014 7:41 AM

Fantastic infographic on health risks in Africa. Particular focus on infectious diseases.

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Roots of the Mali Crisis

January 19, 2013—The West African nation of Mali is making headlines after a wave of French military actions on Islamic extremist groups now controlling the northern part of the country. National Geographic Senior Writer Peter Gwin has...

Via Seth Dixon
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Araceli Vilarrasa Cunillé's curator insight, February 6, 2013 6:37 AM

La crisi propera no es deixa fer prou atenció als canvis geopolítics a l' Africa.

Emma Lafleur's curator insight, March 29, 2013 3:32 PM

   This video clip that is great for learning not only about the situation in Mali, but how history leads to the events of today and how much one country can affect another country.

   When Europe colonized  Africa they created borders that separated groups of people that should have stayed together, and they put different ethnic groups together that should have been separated. With this alone comes great conflict because ethnic groups and neighboring tribes that have had conflicts for years now have to operate under the same government somehow and no one is ever really happy so conflicts arise.

    Also, the Arab Spring broke out which brought on all these new ideas and opportunities for the people to revolt and change their country, and some of the people left Libya after the fall of Gadaffi and went to Mali bringing their weapons and anger with them. All of these events led to the Mali crisis today, and it is interesting to see how much one country affects another country and as a history major I am greatly interested in how the history of the country brings about the events of today.

Al Picozzi's comment, July 18, 2013 12:15 PM
The borders were randomly drawn without taking culture, language, beliefs of the native populations etc into account. However drawing borders along ethnic lines didn't work in Europe after WWI. Alot of ethnic minorities were in countires that did not feel welcome. That was one reason for WWII
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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.

 

What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Much like the piracy in the Caribbean in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries it is done in order to gain wealth and by the looks of it, fame.  They are called Pirate Kings in the video by the New York Times.  Again much like the pirate kings of the Caribbean.  Here however they are willing to give it up in order to better their country with the help of the internation community, the pirates of the Caribbean didn't have a country and they liked it that way.  However, it was tried in the early 1990's to help allievate the food and humanitarian suffering.  However the warlords of the time, especailly Aideed, saw their power, as well as their money, disappearing, so they fought this relief effort and kept Somalia in the dangerous situation it is in today.  So you have to ask the question: Can you take the pirates seriously that they want to change??  Past history says no.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

The media oftentimes demonizes specific groups of people. So I was presently surpassed that the NYT’s investigated the human aspect of desperation. Many of these Somalians are hopeless and the economic burden on their shoulders drives them to act unethical. When you first priority is survival, courteousness and moral laws often don’t apply. Nevertheless, it was cool to hear about these human stories.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:37 PM

Just like the pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, these folks bring all the vices of the originals except perhaps without much of the romanticism that comes with the elders. Though perhaps in two hundred years someone will make a movie titled Pirates of the Somalia featuring Johnny Depp's great-great-great grandson. 

 

It's understandable why these people want to get out of the business. Despite the sex and wealth they've gotten, it's not exactly stable employment. Nor is it as safe as sitting at a desk or being a plumber. But when your society simply doesn't support these industries, then the people are left to resort to more drastic measures.

 

It's also interesting to see the quazi-government stepping in to try and combat it. Traditional Muslim values are the reason for them wanting and end to it. It's understandable to not want children to look up to pirates and the life of crime they lead. But in order for the practice to stop, the pirates want international environmental protections, aid, and government support. Should the international community give into piracy or should it be removed by force?

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Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only) | Data

Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only) | Data | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Al Picozzi's insight:

Just a quick site that gives alot of data from the World Bank on this area of the world.  It really shows the differences of the countries in this same area and the disparity between these countries.

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Video: Watching and Waiting in South Africa

Video: Watching and Waiting in South Africa | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The Times’s Marcus Mabry reports from Johannesburg, where South Africans are closely watching Nelson Mandela’s condition.
Al Picozzi's insight:

An important world figure, not just to South Africa, but to the world.  Called the father of his country many feel that when he passes in s akin to what Amercian felt when George Washington passed.  A man who led his people out of oppression to found a country.  A little different in that George Washington led to the formation of a new country while Nelson Mandela led to the creation of a new system in an already existing country.  A great man that led a hard life that led to a whole new, and better,  life for his people.

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Forced to flee war, many Malian refugees to miss vote

Forced to flee war, many Malian refugees to miss vote | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
DAKAR/MANGAIZE, Niger (Reuters) - When Talhatou Hallahi Maiga heard that Malian officials had dispatched new ID cards to the desert north in preparation for Sunday's presidential election, he slipped out...
Al Picozzi's insight:

In a hard time in Mali people are missing a right that here in the US most people do not take advange of, the right to vote.  One man had to leave a refugee camp in order to get his voting card, but he did it even with all the danger involved.  Hard to understand how the people in the US just do not vote, especailly when compared to other areas of the world, it is completely safe.

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South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government

South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

July 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a presidential decree removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny, and dissolved the whole government.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Here is a living example of how hard it is to start a new country.  Imagine what our founding fathers int he US was doing back in 1783 when they were trying something new, with not much to look to in the past as an example.  Even with all the history since then, and all the examples of how to for a working governemt, startnig a new country in the area of the world that was once controlled by imperialists and warlords is not going to be an easy task by no stretch of the imagination.  We can only hope for the best for these people.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:37 AM

Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself.  Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:59 PM

It is very difficult for a country this young to be politically and economically stable. The president must have a difficult time earning the peoples respect when the country is struggling.  Removing the vice president only upset some locals as they felt he showed signs of a dictator.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:56 PM

He wants to get rid of the entire political cabinet. Who does he think he is, Superman? There is no way this president can take on a whole nation by himself. He needs to reconsider his actions and think about South Sudan and its needs.

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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:51 PM

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.

 

This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Apartheid still has an influce in South Africa even after its end in 1994.  Much like after slavery was ended at the end of the US Civil War it was many decades, actually 89 years, in 1954 when it finally deceided in Brown vs. Board of Education that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." History shows that a major change in stauts will not give immediate results.  It is going to take decades to come out of the effects apartheid had on the people of South Africa.  This new generation that is being taught, many times unsuecssfully, will hopefully be the new teachers in a new South Africa.  When they teach another generation, that much more removed from apartheid, is when the real change is going to happen.

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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.