Geography 200
Follow
Find tag "political"
93 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Forget Somalia, the world's new epicenter of piracy is on the other side of Africa."

 

Some experts believe that the uptick in the number and geographical reach of pirate attacks is due in part precisely to the 2009 government amnesty for the Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta who had justified their attacks on oil infrastructure and their widespread theft of crude oil as a political protest. "With the political pretense lost, there is no longer any need for oil thieves to limit themselves to targets in the Delta," a United Nations study said.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article points to the little known problem of piracy off the western coast of Africa.  When one thinks of African piracy, one thinks of the Somali pirates it is important to know that piracy is not just limited to eastern Africa.

more...
Shiva Prakash's curator insight, February 3, 2014 11:20 PM

Technology is changing the shopping habits of buyers. Compete recently conducted a survey that reported a rapid increase in the number of people using their mobile devices for shopping Online shopping which u can buy from home easily with lots of designs of cloths and new technology mobile phones without going out for shopping just click here to go eaZy http://shopdeer.blogspot.in/

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Exclaves and Sovereignty

Exclaves and Sovereignty | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Prime Minister David Cameron is 'seriously concerned' about the escalation of tensions on the border between Spain and the British territory of Gibraltar."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I was unaware that the UK owned this part of Gibraltar.  It seems like a throwback to the UK’s naval policies of the past that they would still to control this point of entry into the Mediterranean.  It will be interesting to see how this will be resolved.  As it is a dispute between two countries that are both part of the EU. 

more...
Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 6, 2013 8:30 AM

This video and article briefly show the reasons behind the current tension between Spain, NATO allies and fellow EU members.  The deeper, underlying issues though are all fundamentally rooted in the complex local political geography.  As an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea, there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. Spain, in what the chief Minister of Gibraltar calls "sabre-rattling," is flexing its muscles and considering using their border and airspace as a political leverage.  Spain is upset that Gibraltar has created an artificial reef in waters that their fishermen use.  Spanish fisherman have recently condemned the escalating political rhetoic.


Questions to Ponder: Why are both parties politically and culturally invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British suprantional connections impact this issue?


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, Spain, Europe, autonomy.

karenpinney's curator insight, August 12, 2013 5:13 AM

Relationships between Britain and Spain.

megan b clement's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:37 AM

"The video explains about Spain and Gibraltar and how they have feuded back and forth with one another and their borders for some time now. Gibraltar has made a articfical reef to mess with the Spainish fisherman and SPain has made travel to Gibraltar nearly impossible and dreadfully long for tourists. Spain understands how essential tourism is to their economy. Until they are able to come to an agreement thei matter is only going to intenisfy more and worsen."

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article makes the connection between lower fresh water availability and war.  The argument that as water becomes scares, farmers leave their fields and head to the cities.  The cities are ill-equipped to handle the inflow of people and the greater demand on its water resources creating unrest and discontent.  This is an interesting way of looking at the conflicts in the area.

more...
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

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
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video describes the increase in immigration into EU countries from other EU countries.  The EU agreements on free movement are being challenged in countries that feel rightly or wrongly that the immigrants coming in are a drain on their economies during this difficult economic time.  It is interesting to see how Europe deals with this immigration issue compared to how America deals with its immigration issues.

more...
James Hobson's curator insight, October 10, 2014 4:47 PM
(Europe post 8) Europe's immigration 'crisis' seems to echo many of the causes and effects currently being felt in the U.S.'s own situation. As jobs become scarcer, anti-immigrant sentiments start to gain ground. The introduction of new cultures can create a sense of cultural insecurity. Controversial laws are put into effect to try to gain some control on the situation. Though it does seem like an invasion to those already living there, keep in mind that the immigrants aren't trying to cause such things; rather, they are looking to regain lost ground for themselves. I know there is a wide divide on political views, but in the very least individuals and governments alike should keep an open mind (even if not an open door) to what outsiders are experiencing / what their driving force is.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:54 PM

While many talk about tensions regarding immigration they think of the American public's take an immigration while in actuality Europe is having the same problems and if anything tensions are higher than in the States. In Europe the Influx of immigrants primarily from Turkey and the Middle East have brought about a rise in both racial and religious tensions. In America we're somewhat used to cultural melding while in Europe many are used to cultural homogeneity and these foreigners are bringing with them the fear of cultural dilution and the loss of jobs.  

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 10:13 PM

People are reacting to the economics.  This is what happens when there is a down turn in the economy and it takes from the pockets of the working class.  The working class doesn't want to support outsiders.  If the people who are indigenous to the area don't feel taken care of, why would they feel ok with the government taking care of immigrants before them?  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This infographic was very interesting.  By using color coding it highlights the areas of influence the colonel powers still maintain over their old possessions.  This map is helpful in understanding how this affects the politics of theses regions today.

more...
Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

more...
Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:54 PM

If I was to create my own country, the first thing I'd do is make sure not to shoot down any U.N. helicopters. This video does show the very hard process of creating a country from scratch.  I particularly enjoy the piece in which a government official attempts to explain taxes to folks at the marketplace because I probably had the same expression when taxes were first explained to me. "Why should I pay the government my hard earned money? They didn't do anything to earn it from me."

 

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs'

Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs' | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article shows that no matter how small the world is becoming nationalism is still present and will cause issues between different factions and supporters of different national identities.  The issue over what flag will be flown in a country can spark outrage and anger not by people against the flag but the people for it as they feel it should be flown all the time as opposed to a limited amount of days in the year.

more...
Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 11, 2013 2:01 PM

Flags are tangible symbols of communal identity and political power.  If the meaning behind these identities are unresolved, the symbols of these identities in public spaces becomes all the more there is contentious.  Currently, the Union Jack is a lightning rod for controversy in Northern Ireland and the riots stemming from this are harming the local economy. 


Tags: Ireland, political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, economic, Europe, unit 4 political.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.

 

This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   

 

Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

more...
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 2014 7:18 AM

This map shows a number of disputed islands off the coast of East Asia. These ownership of these islands would allow countries to extend their territory further into the ocean and grant them rights to any resources which may be under the ocean waters nearby. This political issue is one which driven by economics. Though the claims on these islands are not currently worth fighting over, if significant resources are found they could be, and a more powerful nation like China could flex military muscle to solidify their claim and other claimants would have to back down.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:20 PM

This interactive map discusses the current disputes between the islands and why the land is being disputed. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?

 

Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world.  We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all.  Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons.  Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia.  Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This was an interesting but short article.  It is interesting to realize that Coke is sold almost universally worldwide with just a few exceptions.  It is truly the poster boy for globalization.

more...
Josiah Melchor's comment, September 12, 2012 11:22 PM
The Coca-Cola company has become an American Icon that speaks the universal language and trade of many. With many manufacturing facilities around the globe, Coca-Cola will continue to network the world, connecting every country to each other.
Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:03 AM

Coke is another product that is a worldwide phenomenon. People love their soda (even if its terrible for you). People that migrate from country to country bring with them unique items such as Coke, that the foreigners don't know about. This is how different countries come to pick up on other countries foods and customs.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 7:43 PM

GEOGRAPHY: North Korea, although one of the smallest nations in the world, is still arguably the most defiant. They're completely cut-off from the outside world, and they've displayed this once again by not selling Coke in their borders. Being a classic American drink, Coca-Cola is likely viewed as an enemy to North Korea, judging by their hatred of America and its citizens. They're one of only two countries in the world not to sell Coke, and this just goes to show that even though they're physically connected to us, they are isolated from the world.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

more...
Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control. 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The problems of Congo are exacerbated by the mischief of Rwanda.  When you think about a country that is blessed with such abundant natural resource you would think that economically they would be doing well.  However, the turbulence of politics in this region has caused the opposite to occur.  The country is constantly destabilized by the conflicts in its neighboring counties and constant rebellions and conflict have wreaked and destabilized this country.  The blessings of abundant natural resources has, instead become a curse.

more...
Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 2014 3:04 PM

A very comprehensive coverage of the past 20 years. I did not realize just how much Rwanda influenced the major problems in the Congo. Having the capital city of Kinshasa so geographically far away from its "trouble border" is probably making it more difficult to control.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 31, 4:10 PM

This video is tough to follow at times due to the amount of information that is given in less than five minutes, but it gives a brief and thorough account of the dynamics that have taken place in the Rwanda/Congo region.  This genocide is a very popular one in historical scholarship but I have not had an opportunity to spend any time researching it.  This video definitely provided me with a strong understanding of what happened.  It also shows how countries can support certain individuals or entities that, many times, ends up backfiring on them.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2:39 PM

This is another sad story.  There is fast wealth in this area.  More than enough to get this economy off the ground and be a booming source of wealth for the countries.  Ever since the British, Belgiums, and foreigners created conflict in the area there has been so much unrest. They need to get out of their own ways and elect someone who won't steal millions.  They could get back to the golden days, but not until they have some peace which would then lead to prosperity.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Bizarre Borders


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video was entertaining and informative.  I was aware of some of the information he related but was unaware of the “no touching” zone and I found it amusing.  The saying that good fences make good neighbors is taken to an extreme here.  The odd shape of boarders has always been interesting to me.  Reasons why a boarder has a shape are always interesting and sometimes amusing.

more...
Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 5, 2014 8:45 PM

This video shows how political geography does not always match up perfectly with physical geography, showing how the "no-touching zone" between the US and Canada has led to several border irregularities. It's very interesting to see how a seemingly straight border on a map is actually an odd and irregular jagged line that defines the political boundary. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 29, 6:31 PM

Craziest thing I've ever seen!  The poor kids on Robert's Island that has to cross through Canada to go to school.  I think it's crazy that the borders were defined when they didn't even have a complete map.  Taking a guess obviously didn't work out.  It seems very difficult to define a border.  

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, February 12, 6:39 PM

Sometimes borders between frendly neighbours like Canada and USA are less protected than borders between countries with conflicts.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

more...
Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:43 AM

Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people.  It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 1:09 AM

This article details the ethnic deportation of peoples during the Soviet era. Many peoples were relocated under the guise of creating an ethnically unified Soviet Union but the truth was while some of the deportations were to simply move workers places of planned industry, many were to exile those deemed enemies of the state. The article estimates over 40% of those relocated died of diseases, malnutrition, or mistreatment. These forced migrations changed the demographics of Eastern Europe and Asia while causing major conflicts between various ethnic groups and Russia.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

The Geography of Chechnya

The Geography of Chechnya | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages.  The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.

more...
Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 19, 2013 10:16 AM

Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible. 

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 15, 2014 9:01 PM

This is an area of the world that I can honestly say I do not know much about. It is apparent why this would be considered "one of the world's ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas". With the amount of countries in such close proximity to each other I can see why there would be major conflicts. I do agree that we need to become more knowledgeable about this and all areas of our globe. Not just learning about a place when something bad has happened there.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:46 PM

This map does a fantastic job of highlighting the cultural diversity within Russia and the former Soviet states. Understanding how these cultural regions overlap one another is paramount in understanding the region's tensions and the repercussions that result including Chechen terrorism in Russia and even in America (Boston bombings).

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

In early November 2012, three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of the Golan Heights. The move by Syria is the first violation of the zone in 40 years and concerns countries of the region. Since then some of the Syrian rebels have also been reported operating in Golan Heights.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article stresses the importance of geography when discussing political situation with neighboring countries.  The fact that the heights are such a strategic advantage to whoever owns them explains why they are so contested.  As long as these two countries are not friendly nations this disagreement over the strategic point will continue.

more...
Jamie Strickland's curator insight, April 3, 2013 9:10 AM

This map can be used to illustrate not only the political and cultural significance of the Golan Heights, but also its environmental significance as a source of water for the Jordan-Yarmuk River Valley

Louis Culotta's curator insight, April 4, 2013 6:35 PM

Heres some info on how poeple have been living in regards to a troubled area of the world.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 29, 2014 5:13 PM

To say the area of the Golan Heights is futile would be a drastic understatement. This area of land bordering Syria and northern Israel is of great importance to both of these sets of people. Over 40 years ago Israel claimed this land for their citizens because of it's high elevation and prime access to water supplies.Now in modern times Syria is making drastic moves to claim the land ,which they believe belongs to it's citizens. It is in the persistence of both of these sets of people that turmoil is being created. This is an important ares to both of these groups of people.If Syria is persistent in their attempts to claim this region it is fearful that Israel may need to fight back at some point. With these two countries at odds with each other it is possible more countries may also get involved.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali

Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Balancing the interests of stakeholders in the Malian polity will be difficult, however some key steps should be taken.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Problems in this area will only increase if the powers that be do not take the innocence of the civilian population into account.  When trying to put down a terrorist insurgence it is imperative that a government tries to safe guard the population.  If not it will only drive these people into the arms of the insurgents.

more...
Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 15, 2013 4:46 PM

This is a great article for give to students to provide them with the geo-political context to understand the situation in Mali.  It also give a great reminder for observers and the involved parties to not lump all Tuareg civilians in the north with the Islamists groups that are in control.  "This failure to consistently distinguish between different groups in the North by multiple stakeholders...portends longer term trouble."  For additional reading, see this Geography in the News article on Mali, tailor-made for classroom.    


Tags: Mali, Africa, political, conflict, war.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:44 PM

Removing the Mali president was only the first thing French military did to this nation. Mali needs to move forward from anti-terrorism and hopefully they can do so with little difficulty.

Shounam's curator insight, October 8, 2014 6:08 PM

Stop mistaking the image of muslim or islamic people as terrorists.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Will Puerto Rico Be America’s 51st State?

Will Puerto Rico Be America’s 51st State? | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Millions of American citizens on the island have spoken. Now, Washington must act.

 

After the Nov. 6th referendum, the question of Puerto Rico's political status vis-a-vis the United States for the future is actually murkier than it was before.  The Puerto Rican voters have spoken, but the meanings of the plebiscite results are still being debated. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I agree with the author of this piece.  Americas ignore Porto Rico and just pretend it isn’t there.  As a Territory of the United States, it should be of more interest to us.  Those hold over from out colonial past needs to be dealt with and the people of Puerto Rico need to be given a choice of statehood or some other option that will work for them.  Puerto Rico has been a part of America for over a hundred years and it should not be kept in a a state of limbo.

more...
James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 11:21 AM

(Central America topic 5)

To me it seems like Puerto Ricans are fighting an identity issue more so than a political one. Regardless of what the island is referred to in a strictly-political sense, it seems like the main concern is the preservation of their unique cultural identity. In other words, although many disagree on what type of term should be associated with Puerto Rico, but most do agree that currently they are overlooked or under-acknowledged. I see how this can be related to inhabitants of Hawaii and Alaska; they don't necessarily mind being strongly associated with the United States, but they would like some distinction to make their culture and history better known. In this way political maps don't serve full justice to their desires, but perhaps those with cultural and historical statistics may better symbolize what lies at the root of such struggles.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 28, 2014 5:35 PM

The author of this article provided a unique insight about what it meant to be from Puerto Rico when she recalled her memory from her fourth grade class. People clearly recognize themselves as Puerto Rican and not American although the President is considered their head of state.  It is understandable why national identity would be be confusing.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 5, 2:20 PM

I found the article very interesting.  It makes sense that the Republican party would not want 4 million Hispanic voters.  It is interesting that the island is "colonial" in nature.  I guess in a way it is being kept like that.  I don't see the US giving it up or "selling" it as the 4th grader suggested because of pure vanity.  The island would have to sink for the US to give it up.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Uruguay’s government, new pot dealer on the block

Uruguay’s government, new pot dealer on the block | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Amsterdam, eat your heart out. This South American country has big plans for marijuana fans.

 

The distribution of narcotics impacts virtually every country in the world; there are incredibly divergent strategies on how to mitigate these problems that are a result of sophisticated distribution networks.  What is the best way to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and the illegal activities that accompany the drug trade?  If you were in charge, what strategies would you recommend? 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article is interesting in it is a different view of how a government should combat drug related violence.  The idea that to legalize lesser drugs will bring down the demand for harder illegal drugs is an interesting stance.  The hope is this will cut the feet out from under the dangerous and violent drug cartels and bring down the crime rate in Uruguay.  It will be interesting to see what comes of this move.

more...
Kendra King's curator insight, February 8, 4:37 PM

The brilliance of this plan is in the taxes. I am not sure allowing people to smoke marijuana will get them to stop doing cocaine. Especially since, the article mentioned citizens are already allowed to legally use marijuana if they wish. If this was the countries only argument in favor of the legislation, I would be against it as there is no evidence to support the idea of replacing one for the other. However, the money garnered from the State being the sole supplier would then go to treating drug addicts. So unlike our drug war, this country logically went after a part of what is causing the problem in the first place. Such an idea has a great deal of potential for stopping repeat users. Eventually though, the money raised from these taxes might also need to go towards prevention education as well.  

 

Drug war aside, I think regulating marijuana is a good idea anyways. As long as people are going to do it, you might as well control it. Not only does the country profit from the taxes, but the citizens are safer. As it stands right now, people are getting the product from the black market and there is no proper product standard on that market.   Under the State people would actually getting a type of weed that wouldn’t be tainted or has an overly potent does to THC. Honestly, that reason alone would sell me. However, with violence in an area that is “traditionally the safest,” the benefits of regulation probably aren’t too high on the list of political motivation.  

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 9, 4:48 PM

This was an interesting article, a bit outdated, yet still informative. I personally know nothing about the legalization of drugs, specifically Marijuana, in any foreign country.

It certainly comes off as is the Uruguayan government is trying to monopolize the growing and sale of Marijuana. From a government perspective they would be able to handle the sales of pot and use the profit for state needs... I am assuming state needs. The article stated the revenue would be roughly $75 million, thats a good amount of money to throw around in regards to infrastructure and other further investments. In time the government would allow for private organizations to grow Cannabis but would have to sell it over to the government to be legally distributed. Not only would the government be setting the price for the buying of bulk from the producers but they would also be reaping all the benefits from sales. Also, the growers of Marijuana would be taxed... The government is winning either way. 

An issue with this plan is the fact that the government is a direct beneficiary of the profits obtained from the drug. It is clear that the government wins. Who else wins? Stoners? I suppose it is good that they wont be busted for smoking anymore... I hope there is a good amount of money from this revenue going back into the state. I'm sure jobs will be created to keep up with the Marijuana sales. What will happen to the people already selling Marijuana? They can't sell it anymore if the government is only allowed to. Perhaps this could create an issue? 

I understand the purpose of this project/plan. I believe it needs more structure and perhaps a more descriptive outcome, not just the government reaping the profits and not saying where they will spend the money. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 12, 7:15 PM

Uruguay was one of the safest nations in the Latin America until an outbreak of hard drugs, with violence following it. in order to combat this outbreak Uruguay wants to legalize the "soft core" drug of marijuana. the government thinks this should reduce the consumption of Crak-cocaine and other forms of the coco leaf. this is following he current trend in the America's. this would not legalize the growing or selling of marijuana, it would make it state mandated and taxed while the possession of small amounts is legal.

i think that this will be great, with easy access to the drug it will take the exhilaration out of doing drugs. i do think this will ease people off of harder drugs to the accessible drug of marijuana. although people who use crak will not be changed immediately and satisfied with pot, it will help the whole economy from trying crak- cocaine.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...

 

In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question.  The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it.  Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis.  What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea.  Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it.  This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.

more...
Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 1:25 PM

This isn't an article from Oceania necessarily, but one that pertains to it. In an area made up of small island nations, the literal overnight emergence of new ones can change the politics of the surrounding countries, and even the number of seats at the United Nations in the far future.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:29 PM

The EEZ policy that exist has made every space up for contentious conflict. The miles off the coast of Surtsey and other small islands have become valuable because of EEZ and conflict exist over islands that are uninhabited and useless. Economic geography can influence political geography when it comes to these small island and their exclusive economic zone.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 12, 10:46 AM

You have to be joking with me!!!!!!!!

 

Claims for a volcanic-induced mass of land?  In this day and age, one would hope that something like this would not lead to a long and drawn-out dispute.  There is much more pertinent issues present in this world.


 How about this for an idea?  Let's leave the "island" neutral and allow it it to be used as a temporary destination for whomever visits it.  It should be protected and preserved by everyone interested but not so much that visitors cannot temporarily explore and enjoy the island.