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Moscow tries to calm tensions after anti-migrant riot

Moscow tries to calm tensions after anti-migrant riot | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Al Picozzi's insight:

Seems that Russia is not exempt from the anti-immigrant feelings that ares preading in Europe.  As the population declines more and more immigrants are entering European countries and Russia in order ti fill the job that have been left open by workers shortages.  The protests seem to be against the illigal immigration of Muslims into Russia.

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I was 15 when this happened.  The scare of fallout was huge as this was a total meltdown.  I also remember Three Mile Island, PA in 1979 where the scare was not as big as it was only a partial meltdown.  Today though it is the newly independant countires of the Ukraine and Belarus, former Soviet republics, that have to deal with the long term issues.  The pictures here are just errie, like this place just stopped in time and since in can't be inhabited for 10,000 years, it will always look like 1986!

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 3:03 PM

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:06 PM

this is a haunting reminder that we must always try to prevent the horrifying failures that result from mismanagement. that this was an event that had impacts as far away as France is often forgotten, and the thoughts of what may happen if something larger happens is even more horrifying.

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How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan

How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The European country where Skype was born made a conscious decision to embrace the web after shaking off Soviet shackles Eesti keel | Estonian language version...

 

Can you imagine walking over 100 miles without losing your internet connection?  Estonia has done it by making internet access a public service along the lines of water and electricity.  The impacts and effects or profound considering that 9 in 10 Estonians have a computerized ID card that they can use to vote, transfer money and access all the information the state has on them.  Although this may sound very dystopian and authoritarian to many, Estonians argue that it actually empowers citizens to keep the state in check.      


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Just an amazing fact to see a county that was once under the controll of the USSR for so long as come so far.  Now a part of NATO and the EU Estonia has stepped out of the control of Russia to become a virbrant place to live.  Once independant and then under the contol of the USSR at the start of WW II it has once again become a nation itself.  Also notice a very different view in the article, the people there feel this electronic system lets them keep and eye on the government and not a big brother view many people in the US have over electronic ID systems.  Is it because they have always been use to being looked at by the government, ie the USSR over the last 50 years and because we are so use to freedoms that we have had for hundreds of years?

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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 15, 2012 1:23 PM
Wow i didn't realize that Estonia created Skype or that they are very dependent on the internet. Good for them, no more Soviet commands.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:03 PM

I actually like the idea of the computerized ID card.  Yes, undoubtedly from the outside looking in this does appear to have some big brother qualities but I think it's brilliant.  The card allows people to transfer money and vote.  It's also nice to see a country that doesn't just treat their internet use like a toy.  They use it to benefit their society, making it accessible to everyone in the country and not just those who can afford it. 

Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:04 AM

I actually had no idea that Estonia birthed Skype. It was an amazing foresight that Estonia immediately jumped into the computer and internet age, and even more surprising that you can get Wi-fi across most of the country, no matter how remote. That's something that hasn't been accomplished in even the US. They had Internet in most schools by 1997 and can even vote online!

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NYTimes video: Turkey's E.U. application

NYTimes video: Turkey's E.U. application | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
David Cameron, the British prime minister, pledged full support for Turkish membership to the European Union during a visit to Ankara.

 

Turkey's application to the European Union challenges the very definition of "Europe" as various constituencies disagree on whether Turkey should be admitted in the E.U. or not. 

 

 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Could this be just a matter of what it means to be European and that some Europeans feel that Turkey just doesn't fit??  Turkey has long been an ally of the West since its admission in NATO.  It fact along with the US, UK and Greece it sent major forces to Korea during the Korean War.  It helped stop the USSR from spreading, during the cold war, when it joined NATO and toady it has the second largest standing army in NATO, behind the US.   It has also been a help to the US and Europe in conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.  To be part of the European Union only makes logical sense and economic sense.  Access to Asian markets given its geographical location and just the opening of the Turkish domestic markets to free trade.  Seems that old prejudices of what it means to be European is rearing its ugly head..last time this prejudice gained momentum of what it means to be something in Europe...Hitler!

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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 22, 2012 12:27 PM
I already knew Turkey was in the discussion for joining the EU. There are many countries that want them to join, but there are also a few countries that don't want them in for some reason. I say let them join, Turkey isn't a bad country and by joining it would benefit both Turkey and the EU by making them stronger.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:58 PM
Turkey has made changes that should make her more attractive to the European Union. Turkey has done away with the death penalty and is more generous with women's rights. While it is not geographically in Europe, its location is profitable for commerce etc.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:47 AM

Turkey wanting to join the EU will change political geography drastically. Turkey would provide the EU with a border town with the middle east as well as add power and span of the European Union. With some countries like Greece showing that EU economies are dependent on one another and I'm not sure that makes Turkey an attractive or unattractive prospect.

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Ukraine: West or east?

Ukraine: West or east? | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
ITS very name means “borderland”. Ukraine has long been on the edge between east and west. Now this country of 46m people is poised to tilt westward by signing...

Via Paige McClatchy
Al Picozzi's insight:

Going to be an intersting situation.  Aside from the issues with Russia, will the Ukraine be willing to lose some autonomy and follow the rules, especailly the human rights rules, of the EU.  How much are they willing to give up to be free from Russian influence?  Will they be willing to what some might say is trading one master, Russia, for another, the EU?  What will be the Russian reaction to this, especailly with all the gas they receive from Russia?  Goingt o be an intersting situation soon in this area of the world.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 10:00 PM

The Ukraine is currently stuck in a tug-of-war between the EU and a Russian contrived Central Asian trade agreement. The Economist believes that, thanks to Putin's bullying, the Ukraine will land in the EU's lap. This softpower fight between East and West is a remnant of the Cold War. 

Al Picozzi's comment, October 9, 2013 4:31 PM
Going to be an interesting situation. Russian with its long control of this area historically, from about the mid 17th century until its independence in 1991. Is it Russian fears of the "West" being so close to its border, remeber it was invaded many times from the west, Napoleon, Germany twice, from other western countries during the Russian civil war, including the US? or is it pure ecomonic to compete with the EU or just to deny the EU another member? Another Cold War coming, this one not involving the US?
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Eurozone unemployment hits record high

Eurozone unemployment hits record high | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The 17-nation bloc had a jobless rate of 11.6 per cent in September, while inflation eased slightly in the last month.

 

Although some countries in the Eurozone have lower unemployment rates like Austria (4.4%) and Germany (5.4%), more are in the worst collective tailspin since the creation of the common currency.  Spain has the worst unemplyment rate at 25.8% of the adult population out of work.  It has taken a nasty cultural and political turn as resentments and frustrations are boiling over in the Eurozone.  Some are derisively referring to the struggling southern European countries as P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). 

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

A big problem in the EU.  There are countries feeling the pinch becasue of the problems of other countries.  They feel why do we have to foot the bill of so many other countries that are just failing in their own economies through their own fault.  Sounds about the same as in the US when people say why do I have to pay for others mistakes and pay more in taxes.  One is on a macro scale, one is on a micro scale. 

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 2015 7:48 PM

This article was interesting because unemployment is such a big topic discussed with many people today. Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached an all time high in September as their economy is falling into a recession. The highest rate was recorded in Spain where 25.8 adults are unemployed. Further layoffs are going to occur as their budget programs begin to kick in. Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany have the lowest recorded rates.

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Iconic Landscapes

Iconic Landscapes | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Time lapse video compilation Civilization: Part I - Europe by professional photographer Dominic Boudreault. Shot in England, France, Spain and Italy.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

An amazing view of some of the cities of Europe.  As a person who loves history to see these modern cities built around the old civiliztions of Europe is amazing.  For me it is Rome.  To see the runis of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the modern Rome is just amazing.  Even more amazing is how some of the buildings built by the Romans are still standing, and in use, when modern techniques do not seem to last long at all.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:11 PM

Europe is such a beautiful place where its landscapes, architecture, and waterways have shaped its future. This video shows the beauty of the towns and how everything in is has remembrances of the past. This video is a definite must see!

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:33 AM

I found this very stirring.  To see the old and new buildings side by side makes one think about what came before and how the past influences the future.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2014 6:03 PM

This video of iconic landscapes displays beautiful and historic architecture throughout Europe. This video allows the viewer to see these great areas of Europe. I have a great deal of respect for those who built things such as the Colosseum in Rome years ago, as it is amazing that some of these historic buildings are still standing today. 

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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

A great and entertaining way to explain this part of Europe.  I know I have in the past used the terms England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom to all refer to the same thing. It was also amazing to see that people are the same everywhere in that the people in Wales do not consider themselves British, much the same way the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilain and not Italian. 

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chris tobin's comment, March 22, 2013 4:43 PM
Very clarifying information.......narrator really speaks quickly, like he just drank 5 pots of coffee and has to catch a plane or something...The You Tube Video 'Coffee The Greatest Addiction Ever' pops up next to his video
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:09 PM

As an outsider looking in the concept of the United Kingdom is a little confusing. We are taught to view Scotland as its own country, but they are countries within a larger structure. This video makes what would confuse many Americans and condenses it into a clear video that is just about 5 mins.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:38 PM

Many people often interchange the UK, Great Britain, and England, but in reality, they all describe different different things. The UK is a country of four countries, each with equal power, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales but they are all considered British citizens.UK is a political term, describing a country. Great Britain is a physical geographical term describing the land mass containing Scotland, Wales, and England.  The British Isles refers to both Great Britain and the Island of Ireland. All of these terms describe different things, being characterized by either political affiliation or geographic characteristics. 

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Scottish independence: ‘Finance industry would leave’

Scottish independence: ‘Finance industry would leave’ | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
ThE financial services industry north of the Border would relocate to England if Scotland votes for independence next year, a senior Conservative has warned at the party conference.
Al Picozzi's insight:

Thie vote could be a major blow to the economy of Scotland.  If the finance industry does leave to England this could leave a new nation very vunerable economically.  Will they be admitted to the EU if there is no finacne industry in the country?  Will other countried recognize Scotland as an independant nation?  What of defense?  Most of the military belongs to Great Britian, will they all leave?  will they stay?  Will Scotland even be allowed to leave, vote of no vote?  Devolution forces are in Scotland, especially historical.  The people might vote for independence, but in this day and age, it is something that must not be taken lightly.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 12, 2013 9:45 PM

This could be a masive blow to Scotlands economy. A buisness minister has warned that the uncertanity of independance could cause companies like the royal bank of scotland to leave the third biggest center for financial services. 

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Argentina renews Falklands claims

Argentina renews Falklands claims | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner renews her claims for sovereignty of the Falklands at a UN Security Council meeting.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Im old enough to remember this conflict when Thatcher sent the British to retake the islands.  Both sides are claiming the islands for themselves.  Seems they were uninhabited when discovered by the French and then it was British, Spanish, French, Argentinan, and British again in 1833 until the militray invasion by Agrentina in 1982 and the retaking of the island by the British that same year.  Claims on both sides seem legitimate, but I find it most telling that the people now living there want to be part of Great Britian, not Argentina.  The people of mainland Argentina might want the islands, economic reasons and for the EEZ, but the people actully living on the island do not.  Another thing I do remember, the US was not with Great Britian at thie time in an unusual split between long term and stanuch allies

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:10 PM

I think that countries trying to unite and make claims is sort of like going to a bad college party in a station wagon with people that you might not like, don't like you, and are not like you... At least in the case of the USA.  As for Argentina, well I hope they're not as ravishly divided as the united of the constituents of America.  I don't really have anything good to say about this country... I have been physically and psychologically abused by police, damaged and violated by medical establishments, and I'm really sick of other people acting like they have the god-given right or my permission to treat me less than pleasantly.  How does this relate to Argentina requesting sovereignty? Well, I relate my personal experience to their situation in that they might be better off sovereign than being operated on by deranged fugitive doctors or beaten up by cops in bad relationships... so to speak.  For a lack of sovereignity would pose negative things that might befall their people.  I think that there is a greater chance for greater things to happen to them if they do it alone, rather than being told what to do, or being thought through and puppetted by other countries!

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 2015 12:59 PM

Often times, the thoughts of the Days of Empire are long gone. Most people see World War I as the boiling over of competition for colonies. As Europe gave most of their colonies up in the mid-20th century, some of them still stayed in their colonists' hands. The Falklands are that shining example of the UK's Empire days and it's understandable why they would want to hold on to them. Not only are they a decent naval base for operations in the Americas and along the Atlantic, they remind Great Britain that she was (and one could argue still is) a world power on the sea and land. No country wants to give away land voluntarily. Argentina sees these islands as her's and wants them back while the United Kingdom still holds claim. The UK also has the backing of the inhabitants when a referendum was held. Only three of the residents on the Falklands voted to split from its over seas ruler. What do you do when a country right off your shores demands your home back while a country thousands of miles away wants to keep you? It was a recipe for disaster in the 80's and still proves to be a point of tension in the 21st century.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:10 AM

The controversy of the Falklands continues. You would think that someone would have proposed viable solution to this issue by now. The Falklands war back in the 1980's remains one of my favorite skirmishes in history. The whole issue is throwback to the colonial era when the sun never set on the British Empire. In the years following the Second World War, the Empire collapsed. Today there is virtually nothing left of that once great empire. Great Britain should let one of its last vestiges of Empire go. There is no need for the British government to administer an Island in South America. The days of imperialism and colonialism have long since passed.

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Colombia's gold rush

Colombia's gold rush | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.

 

 

 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

The war has now shifted from Cocaine to Gold.  Seems that alot of the planters when from planting cocaine to mining for gold...illegally according to the Columbian government.  The government is taking land from the native people and taking for themselves in order to get big business, especially foregin owned ones, to invest in their country.  Does it south familar.  It should.  1874, Black Hills in the then Dakota territory of the US.  Seems gold was found on Native American land..an expedition led by George Armstrong Custer confirmed gold was there...which led to..native Americans being forefully moved from their land into the Montana territory..which eventully led to the 1876 Great Sioux War in which Custer was killed and eventaully the Sioux and the Lakota and the Cheyenne being defeated by 1877.  Seems there is a parallel going on in South America.  Looks like the old axiom of those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it proves itself correct again.

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Derek Ethier's comment, September 30, 2012 6:57 PM
This is a sad yet all too occurring phenomenon in underdeveloped nations. In Africa, they fight Civil Wars over minerals like oil and coltan. Here the fight is over gold. When government is unable to control militant groups, they take control over natural resources using violence. It is also unfortunate that international companies are coming in to sweep up the wealth. Colombia is unlikely to keep too much of this wealth in their own nation.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 10:30 PM
Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:58 AM

In countries where the government is not as stable as most, the demand for gold makes people willing to literally go to war over mines in Colombia. In the 1990s there was a large outrage about "blood diamonds" out of Africa. This reminds me of that. In the developing world we are seeing horrible circumstances arising to gain wealth and provide a valuable commodity to the highest bidders. 

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Jamaica Focuses on Farming

Jamaica Focuses on Farming | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"The country has taken on a bold new strategy in the face of expensive food imports: make farming patriotic and ubiquitous."


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

After the British took control of Jamaica from the Spanish, it became one of the largest sugar exporting colony of the new world.  It also had one of the largest slave populations to support that sugar plantation industry.  Sugar crops destroy the soil which makes it harder to grow other crops.  i also think that had alot to do with Jamaica having to always import alot of its foodstuffs.  Now that the sugar planting, through technology, is not as destructive and the fact that it isnt as intensvie as it use to be, the soil has recovered in some sense allowing for different crops to be grown.  This will in turn can lead to a more stable economy in the area as a large part of the country's GDP will not have to go to buying imported food as they will now be able to provide their own foodstuffs.  Moving form a one crop, especially a cash crop, to multiple different crops will just better the outlook of this country's growth.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:34 PM

I have discussed Jamaica with some former classmates of mine, and they informed me that a lot of people are really poor there.  They said that the people there were very friendly, and hooked my friends up with some outstanding agricultural products at a really good price, but these people are very poor.  I think that because Jamaica was involved in the slave trade, and they didn't really as much of have slaves to do work like the US, but Jamaica was still involved in the slave trade, which ensured the presence of slaves.  While the US was building as a country, Jamaica was not thriving as much.  I think that the agriculture in Jamaica is (by what my friends say) fabulous as far as illegal crops go, but the agriculture FOR the Jamaicans (such as food) is lacking.  I read in the article that a European Development Agency sent money to Jamaica to help them be able to build chicken coops... So the chickens are enslaved too, and doomed to lay eggs or become a Sunday dinner.  That is kind of sad.  In all truth, I enjoy the taste of meat, but look forward to when meat and plants will be synthesized with no living tissue involved, because, after all, plants are alive too.  There are so many things that people have taken from the Earth, without giving anything back.  We are approaching the era where people should be more concerned with the environment, and what they can do for the Earth.  I think Jamaica should be given new technology that serves synthetic meat and synthetic vegetables, as a way to aid their agricultural and economic situation, rather than money for chicken coops from some pompous European cults.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 8, 2014 1:53 PM

The article describes how Jamaica and a couple other Caribbean nations are beginning to focus more on food crops than cash crops. Being dependent on imports for food can be disastrous for these islands when a global food shortage makes prices skyrocket. Being food independent will likely allow Jamaica to increase its net agricultural gains so long as the production and demand for its cash crops of bananas and sugarcane remain high.

 

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 12:56 PM

Understanding how other countries survive their everyday lives is an important part of being a civil human being. As shown in one of the clips, a boy is putting on a tie before school and is on his way to eat breakfast. Not only does he have to eat breakfast at home, but he also is eating a stew that he picked the crops for. I could never imagine picking my own food in order to survive life. This scoop is enlightening in many ways.

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Wow amazing to see how one environmental tradegy, the deforestation, can have a huge outcome when a natural disaster hits an area.  There are no trees, literally, that can soak up the run off from heavy rains, this in turn weakens the soil, whcih when an earthquake hits with just make it that much worse.  We need to learn from this as cities int he US continue to expand further and further out.  We will ever reach this kind of deforestation?..who knows..look at the floods in Colorado which was in turned help by the huge forest fires, no trees to soak up all that water.  We need to head this warning and really plan when we are expaning our cities.

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.

 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, September 29, 2015 3:13 PM

Conditions in Haiti were bad in Haiti even before the disaster of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake occurred. The video shows images of the clear deforestation Haiti is suffering as a country. A lot of the mountain tops and hills are seen white without those bright green colors. It is said that the country is already 97% deforested. The reason so is because charcoal is basically the only way Haitians can cook and even make money off of if possible. Sometimes people do not like to accept that the countries own people, are affecting their living environment. Haitians live in a country where nights are spent in the dark in rural areas. The charcoal is the light Haitians depend on as well.

Haiti is a country of extreme poverty that don't offer an alternative to charcoal, which is the reason for its deforestation. A lot of Haitians blame the governed for the lack of infrastructure in the country but its all the mudslides fault. It is something that physically humans can not contain unless alternative methods are used to prevent deforestation. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 8:05 PM

Conditions in Haiti are just terrible. This place is 90% deforested and people use charcoal and such to cook. Haiti was hit by an earthquake in 2010, but even before the earthquake, deforestation was a major problem. Most of the people that live here live in darkness with no electricity. To get light, people use charcoal, charcoal has very many great uses in Haiti. Individual survival means cutting down as many trees as possible to get charcoal so you can provide for family. Problems with this country is that technologically and natural disaster survivalness is poor. Floods and mudslides will continue to happen and people will die, also the infrastructure will not improve. A lot of problem would come from the government too, lack of help from a government creates a failing nation. 

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Russia’s DNA: “Fear of Invasion”

Russia’s DNA: “Fear of Invasion” | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Al Picozzi's insight:

This is just a small article that explains a Russian "DNA" and the fear of invasions, especailly from the "west".  Who could blame them, Poland, Sweden, Germany in WW I, then many western countries during the Russian civil war and Germany again in WW II.  Fast forward to todays geographic and political outlook from Russian eyes, NATO more on their border with Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lituania all members and with the growing of the EU economically, this fear within the "DNA" of Russia may not be hard to explain.  History will always shape how people feel and what they believe.

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The Russian Cross

Natural Population Growth of Russia.PNG

English: Natural population growth trends of Russia. Data source: Demoscope death rates,Demoscope birth rates, Rosstat

The economic and social turmoil after the fall of the Soviet Union was profound enough to be seen in the demographic statistics.  Birth rates dropped as the death rates went up.  Typically when birth rates drop it is presented as an indicator of social development, but it clearly is not in this instance.  What explains these statistics?  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

An increase in deaths can be seen because of the dramatic change of governments that would have a profouond psychological effect on the people.  The stress that the people went through must have great after being under the Soviet system since 1917.  What does this mean for Russia?  This combined with peole leaving Russia for what they see as a better chance can have sever destablizing effects in the country.  Worker shortages are the 1st thing that comes to mind, maybe even a return to stop people from leaving. With the EU growing NATO expaning, what is Russia goning to do escpecailly with its long history of suspicion of the "West?"

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:52 PM

This graph shows that while we in the west think of the fall of communism as a freeing and positive event in reality many in Russia have been severely damaged by this. While the Soviet government was known for oppression it also provided security and was dependable. With its fall the people were plunged into confusion leading to a decline in birthrate and a raise in suicide and alcoholism.    

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 16, 2015 7:42 PM

This graph of Births, Death and Natural Growth shows that the Natural Growth along with the Births in Russia have declined since 1950, the main downfall is during the collapse of the U.S.S.R. While the Deaths in Russia are increasing gradually as the collapse of the U.S.S.R approacher. There are many factors that could be causing deaths in Russia, people are not getting enough food into their systems and sickness is easily attracted. The real for the downfall in births is because women and men are not mating and having a child because they are too busy working and building a life for themselves. Back in 1950-1952 families were consisting of 3-4 children and now families only have one child at maximum 2.  How can Russia increase these birth and natural growth rates? The social development of Russia must increase and people have to start living life differently.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:08 PM

When looking at this graph it is showing that something had to have happened to make death rates go up and the birth rates to go down. The life expectancy of men dropped, alcohol poisoning occurred more frequently, suicide occurred, and a declining population of 1 million or so people a year. All of these factors can create  higher death rate with older people staying in place and the younger generation moving out. With this happening the birth rate would drop and the death rate would increase.

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Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union'

Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union' | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Russian PM Vladimir Putin calls for the formation of a "Eurasian Union" of former Soviet republics, but says it will not be like the defunct USSR.

 

Russia's cultural influence over former Soviet Republics is strong, but the desire to strengthen these old ties is deeply embedded into the cultural ethos of Russia.  It is also a key part of Russia's geopolitical strategy for greater international influence and economic strength.

 


Via Seth Dixon, Meagan Harpin
Al Picozzi's insight:

So is this just to compete with NAFTA and the EU on an economic level?  Or is this to compete with the EU on economic, political and military level, much like the EU's EuroCorps?  Putin states thie is not a return to the USSR, but Russia has always been weary with the growing of NATO and the EU on its borders.  How about if Turkey gets int the EU right on the Russian border?  This action might move thie bloc creation even more forward and Putin might become more forceful to its creation.  No that former KGB member Putin is foreful.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 2, 2013 12:59 PM

Putin is calling for a Eurasian Union. He said it would change the political and economical configuration of the continent and have positve global effects. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have already formed an ecomonical allicance and it removes customs barriers. Putin has however denied that he is propsing for the recreation of the Soviet Union.  

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:26 PM

It is more than understandable that former Soviet satelite states are weary of any kind of union with Russia. However, some sort of treaty could benefit the block, particularly an arangement like the one already held between Russia, Belarus, and Kahzakstan. An agreement that would ease travel between the two countries appears to have little downside.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:11 PM

it can hardly be considered surprising that Putin wants another version of the USSR. every other major nation has some form of organization that it is a part of, and with Russia left alone it must now desperately scrabble for some alliance or union with any other nation.

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Polish abortion laws targeted by supranational institutions

Polish abortion laws targeted by supranational institutions | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Polish laws on abortion are among the strictest in Europe and allow for therapeutic abortion only in a limited number of medically determined sit...
Al Picozzi's insight:

Just rerescooping an older article I scooped in my Geo101 class that fits into the EU discussion.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 24, 2013 4:37 PM

Poland, being a very Roman Catholic country, has the most restrictive abortion laws in the Europe.  Supranational organizations are interfearing witht he Republic of Poland's own laws when the UN and the European Court of Human Rights got involved in a specific case.  This is showing how these supranational organizations can lessen the sovereignty of a country.  Question, would the US bow to these supranational organizations or would the US stand its ground on the laws its governement passed?

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Rising Anti-Immigration Sentiment in the EU

Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This looks just like the arguments in the US about the immigration issue here.  These seem to be be more of legal immigration, as well as illegal to some extent,  as to illegal immigration in the US.  The governments of some of the EU nations need this population in order to fill the workers shortage that has been fuled by low birth rates.  In the US its a little deffernt form of immigration.  Here many illegal immigrants are taking the much lower wage jobs and working in cash with no taxes, ie mirgrant farmers.  Well we want cheap food, that is the way the farm owners are doing it.  In Europe it seems that they are taking some jobs, but I assune since it is legal immigration they are paying some sort of tax on their wages.  These immigrants are from other EU countries for the most part.  Under the EU treaty it is legal for them to live and work in any member nation.  This shows the problem with supranational organizations, a country will lose some of its autonomy in these types of organizations.  For example, can the UK limit the number of people allowed into its country, or even limit access to their health care system under EU law?  If they do, what can the EU do to the UK?  Looks like a fight is about to start!

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:05 PM

Western Europe is facing the troubles of immigration for jobs. Countries in Europe, such as Eastern countries of Bulgaria and the P.I.G.S. are moving to core countries in search of work that the cannot find in their own land. The problem becomes a matter of the core country citizens not having jobs for themselves as their economy joins other in slowing down. Racial tensions are rising because of this. The video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the resentment is  towards Muslim immigrants.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 4:42 PM

this is hardly surprising that anti-immigrant sentiment has risen to this level. with no go zones in most major European cities it is unsurprising that people are trying to push back. considering that there are areas in Britain with sharia law, it's hardly surprising.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:58 PM

whenever you think about people rejecting immigration and illigal immigration being a problem you think about the united states but it is a problem all over the world. it does effect demographics of countries and places need to figure out how to balance helping others by letting them come to your country without it negatively effecting the well being of you own citizens in regards to jobs.

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The Greek island of old age

The Greek island of old age | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The inhabitants of a small Greek island live on average 10 years longer than the rest of western Europe. So what's the secret to long life in Ikaria?

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I think sometimes it is best to look to the past so that we might have a better future.  A return to a simpler time, less stress, less to worry about.  Even in the technology age of iphones, and tablets and the aways staying connected we need to go back to where we are not connected.  I've seen to many people on "vacation" doing work whiel with their families..how is that healthy??  We need to slow down a bit, take it easy now and then and just unplug!

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:09 PM

According to this article, The people of the small Greek Island of Ikaria have a life expectancy that is 10 years longer than any other part of the world. It is attributed  to the nutritious diet that the citizens have and the lack of influence that the outside world has on other places. With less environmental factors to harm it, Ikaria is one of the most geographically advantageous places to live a healthy life.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 11:07 AM

Scientists are always coming across new evidence proving that specific lifestyles, foods, and activities are what allow some to live longer than others, but maybe we need to look at life length at a geographic level. These places where people live longer, healthier lives must have some common threads linking them. It could be similar cultural constructs that are endemic to these places, promoting healthy habits, a sense of community, and overall peaceful lifestyles. 

 

Oddly enough, most of his daily routines, such as drinking tea, using local honey, drinking wine, and leading an active lifestyle, are touted by different scientists and salespeople as to keys to longevity. I think, that these routines combined with a great sense of community, lack of stress, and happiness lead to long life. The community on this island is very close knit, and many people live happily. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 12, 2015 11:06 AM

I really believe that the clean air of this island could have something to do with the life expectancy being higher.  The less toxins you breathe in the less of a chance you will have to developing cancers and other diseases.  

 

Now as to how this gentleman defeated lung cancer after moving from the U.S. to Ikaria is a whole other story.  Maybe the wine did help.  Maybe leaving a dirty and toxin-ridden environment helped kill the cancer.  Bare minimum, this article definitely shines the light on the air-quality in certain parts of the world.

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NYTimes-No Babies? - Declining Population in Europe

NYTimes-No Babies? - Declining Population in Europe | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Birthrates across the Continent are falling at drastic and, to many, alarming rates. Why are Europeans so hesitant to have children, and what does it mean for their future and for ours?

 

Nice piece that show work well for understanding the demographic transition, which links population growth rates with levels of human development.


Via Kevin Suess, Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Amazing to see that the birth rates are so low in Europe.  When at one time there were soo many people that many of them were part of the huge immigration to the US in the 19th and early 20th century.  Now some of these nations are having worker shortages as their populations get older.  The result of this is workers from other countries moving into European countries to work and fill the jobs.  This in turn has led to racial tensions in some European countires where people are stating that the jobs are being taken by these foregin workers.  However, it is the people of these countries that have having fewer children, whether it be a lifestyle choice or just plain economic factors.  It becomes a circular argument eventaully.  Will there be a change in the birth rate in Europe?  Only time will tell, but by the looks of itm it is not going to be anytime soon.  

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 1, 2014 11:11 PM

Unit 2

MissPatel's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:06 AM

11 billion people projection for the future but a decline in population in Europe? How? What factors altered this? Why? 

Ellen Van Daele's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:36 PM

This article discusses the population decrease in Southern Italy. The small city called Laviano is now deserted because of the extremely low birth rate. Rocco Falivena, the major, says that he proposed a system to get women to produce more babies. Pregnant women will receive 10,000 euros over the years if they produce a baby. Even with this system the population remains to be decreasing. 


The dramatic decrease of this small city will have huge economic consequences. This city is an example of the opposite that is happening globally and proves that the world needs a stable population and not a population decline. 

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American Battle Monuments Commission

American Battle Monuments Commission | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Al Picozzi's insight:

This is something, as Americans, we should all go and try and see in Europe.  I know this week is a tuday of the Euorpean region, but all of these cemeteries are in Europe.  I have see only one, the one in Italy and it is a breath taking site.  Just being there puts alot into perspective, of what the US stood for and of our soldiers who fought and died in other countries for the defense of others, not just ourselves.  When others criticize the US, and yes I know we don't always do the right thing, they should come and see these rows and rows of graves just to jog their memories a bit and maybe just maybe try to see things from our point of view.  As Americans we too should take a look to remeber what these men, boys really, did and to strive to live up to their sacrifice.

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Brazilian Ethanol

Brazilian Ethanol | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment." 

 

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Great idea here.  i know that using corn is much more expensive than sugar, nut imagine the tade we can get with Brazil if we imprt more sugan ans then use it for gas.  It will probably still be cheaper than the regular gas, and the corn ethanol.  In the long run if this is used, along with the shale oil depositis the US has, we can reduce our dependance on oil from areas like the middle east and other countries which in turn can create many jobs here in the US.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:25 AM

Brazil is taking advantage of its natural resources to make themselves competitive in the global market. Today geography can change the shape of the economics around the globe. The prospect of economic growth and energy competitiveness has made them short sighted.  Brazil has to beware of becoming a mono-commodity country that relies on a business that is not sustainable.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:35 PM

While only Brazil is taking part in this and it hasn't completely replaced gasoline it is without a doubt a step in the right direction that hopefully other nations can learn from. While the hypotheses over how much oil fluctuates it is undeniable it isn't a permanent solution, the future of fuel must lie in renewal resources. Unfortunately oil companies hold so much sway in politics its unknown how much change is actually possible today. Regardless of this hopefully one day the world as a whole will realize this and seek to emulate Brazil's in innovation.

Taylor S's curator insight, March 23, 7:58 PM

It is being said that the use of Brazilian, sugarcane produced ethanol is an effective means of self-sustainable energy, more officiant then the corn produced products. the reason this relates to my 5 year plan is due to the proposal that this energy can be used to reduce the emissions given off by different industries and provide clean energy. I believe that this is important as it would reduce the type of impact these organisations have on the environment.

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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

An example of people doing what they need to do to live.  Some people look to the US and its system of captialism that say that is the cause of our issues, homelessness which is one of the issues.  But the Chevez, who has now died, government, which has critizied the US for not helping its poor, has the same issues, in a more government controlled economy.  All types of governements have their issues and it is not limited to just the US, China, Russia and so on.  Alot of people claimed Chevez to be an englighted leader, staning up to the US and providing for his people, however the reality is for him, and for all societies, not everything is perfect and  every country in every region has issues that need to be handeled.

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."

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Video: Brazil’s Big Box Empire

Video: Brazil’s Big Box Empire | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Havan is a booming Brazilian retailer that borrows American icons like the White House and the Statue of Liberty to foster a growing consumer culture. Not everyone is impressed.
Al Picozzi's insight:

Seems globalism is in Brazil.  Havan is a big box retailer much like Best Buy, WalMart and Staples.  Much closer to a WalMart from what I've seen as they carry many different items.  A lot of the locals do no like the way it presents itself.  Using American symbols, especailly a 100 foot replica of the Statue of Liberty outside every store, upsets some of the people.  Some feel it is captialism and one women in the story evey states it is a misrepresentation of an important symbol, whcih I agree.  Can you imagine WalMart doing that???  Even their advertisments show typical American families, and even play New York, New York by Sinatra at their grand openings.  The owner and CEo ever thats they Havan is bringing "the American dream" to Brazil.  i have worked for big box retail.  It looks just the same as any store in the US right down to the morning "rally meetings."  Some people like the idea, some however feel it is hurting their culture.  Hmm exporting the American dream through big box retail...is that a good idea?????

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Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war."


Via Seth Dixon, Paige McClatchy
Al Picozzi's insight:

As a former British territory English is the main language for now.  Because of the country's success in harsh economic times immigration to this country is increasing, which is chaning the demographics.  Spanish is now growing in importance as immigrants from Gutaemala, Honduras and El Salvador enter Belize. These immigrants are supplying the cheap labor to work in the sugar and banana platations in the outlying areas, while others are working in the oil export industry and the growing tourism industry.  Much like the migrant workers that come to the US to work in agriculture, the immigrants to Belize are taking the low paying, but labor intensive, jobs that some people that do just not want to do.  One thing I found ironic, politicians "buying" votes to the new growing immigrant population...sound familiar??

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Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:18 PM

It's interesting to compare and contrast the reaction of Belize's English-speaking population to an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants with that of the United States. I enjoyed reading that the welcoming of immigrants by the ruling political system has done much to lessen racial tensions, with the various ethnic groups scattered along the political spectrum. This contrasts sharping with the American political spectrum, where there is a clear racial divide between conservatives and liberals. Americans could learn a lot from Belize in this regard, although the transition has been far from smooth in the nation. Although Spanish is now taught in schools as a result of the reality of the immigration wave in the country, there is some push-back from English speaking groups. Many employees of service industries are losing their jobs to those who can offer bilingual services, as well as some other economic changes as a result of the influx of new immigrants. However, the degree of this tension is a lot lower there than it is in the United States. It will be interesting to see how this debate shapes up in the future; it could very well serve as a helpful model for American politicians.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, October 4, 2015 11:49 AM

You won't BELIZE this link.... get it.

I'm hilarious.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:48 PM

This country of Belize seems to be a very interesting place. I never knew that in Central America, there was a country who's official language is English. It is made up of a lot of retired British soldiers and North American "sun seekers." Migration into Belize comes from other place in Central America, of its 300,000 person population, 15% are foreign born. It is now becoming a very mixed country and Spanish is making a gain on English. Schools teach in English, but Spanish lessons are mandatory. A  population boom both helps and hurts the economy. Most migrants are of working age and are willing to work low wages in brutal conditions. A lot of Belizeans tell census that they are not working and with Spanish gaining ground, a lot of monopolistic people are losing jobs to those who are bilingual. Although there are frictions between ethnic groups, in general things are good and political party lines are not divided by ethnicity.