Years of hatred and mistrust are thawing in some of Rio's most violent slums.
This compelling video depicts some of the challenges that the police in Rio de Janeiro face in trying to bring more effective goverance into some of the more poverty-striken, drug-riddled neighborhoods in the city. This slums, known as favelas, are receiving increased attention as Rio is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Rio has drastically changed since the introduction of a major presense of the Rio police force. Previously, the streets of Rio were a dangerous place for children and adults alike. Police have been a negative cultural icon for residents of Rio for a very long time, and there was much resistance to the presence. However, the police force took a very positive approach by establishing programs for the community to help improve younger generation's opinion of police. Some concerns are that after FIFA 2014 and the 2016 Olympics that the police presence will withdraw and the slums of Rio will revert back to its previous chaotic state.
The fifty year ban on American travel into Cuba is slowly being lifted - but, how far? Americans are limited into only participating in what some call "propogandized" tours that boast of the successes of the government. Americans should be wary while visiting Cuba to try and look past the veil.
"After spending a month becoming familiar with the location of the seven continents and the major bodies of water, each student is given a pumpkin to turn into a globe. Students paint the entire surface of the pumpkin blue to represent water. Next, they use pushpins to position and trace the outline of each continent onto their pumpkins. They use actual globes as models and are careful to place the continents in the correct hemisphere. Then, they paint and label each continent a different color. They label the major bodies of water and use white paint to represent the North and South Poles."
It is very impressive how far Mexico has come in what seems like such little time. I am very interested to see if there will be a great influx of American immigration into Mexico in the coming years. It is also interesting to think about NAFTA in this situation: so beneficial to Mexico; will this become a problem for the US?
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.
Venezuela clearly can not take care of its people as the Tower of David is occupied by squatters in the middle of the city. The abandonment of construction of this tower openly symbolizes the financial and social crisises that Venenzuelans are enduring. The squatters do not want to live in the rural areas that boasts open lands. They insist that living in an essentially wall-less and water-less unfinished sky scraper is better then the rural areas and the street.
The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.
This NPR podcast about Honduras' national security policy brings to light how badly the police force in Honduras is failing their country. The police "making people disappear" is woven into Haiti's cultural fabric. Those who take a stand against the corruption face threats and violence to unimaginable degrees.
If Haiti can not keep it together internally and culturally, Haiti will face great trouble in progressing with the rest of the world.
"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.
This clip from the New York Times helps illustrate exactly why Haiti is in a constant state of decline and strife. Ninety-seven percent of Haiti's land has been deforested in effort to sell charcoal, which is apparently the only medium of currency many (or possibly most) Haitians use. Because the land has been so heavily deforested, Haiti suffers from constant flooding because their is nothing on the mountains to slow the water down. This physical geography therefore paves the way for the human geography: Haitains are poor, desparate, and have no other means to help themselves other then destroying the land they live on.
FIFA 2014 is being hosted in Brazil. This article details the completely flawed and inhumane plan that Brazil has to get ready for the madness of FIFA. They seem to be too caught up in artificial aesthetic and have lost focus on development, while displacing thousands of poor Brazilians on the way.
Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States.
Erica Tommarello's insight:
This article discusses the reasons why Mexicans are starting to look at Mexico as a land of opportunity. Growing up in the USA, I have always been told that people come here because the United States have the best schools in the world - it doesn't seem like that's a pull factor anymore for Mexicans.
What I'm going to say sounds ridiculous, but once upon a time it wasn't ridiculous at all. You could wake up one morning in North America and decide to walk to Morocco, have breakfast, and a few hours later, there you are — in Africa.
Erica Tommarello's insight:
This map pictures Pangea with present political boundaries and states. It's fascinating!
Large numbers of foreign troops would almost certainly be needed to safeguard inspectors working in the midst of the civil war.
Erica Tommarello's insight:
This article reminds us that even a disarmament will cause bloodshed. Whichever country decides to "peacefully invade"and secure the chemical arms is "just the first nightmare of making this work," said President Obama. I think it will be interesting to see how organized this chemical disarmament will be, and how many lives will be lost in the pursuit of peace in Syria during a civil war.