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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.

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

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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. 

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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."

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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.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 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, 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, 8:37 AM

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

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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
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.

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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:53 AM

Like America, 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. Ironically, the video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the sentiments are towards Muslim immigrants.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 10, 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, 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.  

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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.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 12:59 PM

Colonial ties are still very prevalent due to Europe's dependence upon the resources of Africa. European countries like England and France invest billions in Africa, not to help those African nations, but to build infrastructure for resource extraction or to keep governments stable. Though the true exploitation of Africa has ended, the current situation certainly has the ring of exploitation as the people of Europe enjoy the diamonds and chocolate harvested by the multitudes of impoverished people of Africa.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 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, 2:11 PM

unit 4

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‘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.

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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 11:48 AM

I think if that if you're building a country from scratch, then you're going to have to include the following:

*Political Constitution

*Picking a Name

*An Anthem

*A Capitol

*You have to welcome your people.

*Invite the secretary general

*Honoring the flag.

*Cherishing the past (anything historical or ancient)

*Collection of first taxes.

*Training the police.

*The country would have to refrain from invading its neighbor.

*Governance is key!!!! You need to have a political constitution and come up with ways to enforce the law, also have boarders aroound the country so you can define the territory, have a cultural identity, among common interests and goal, but most importantly have recognition. If nobody recognizes that you're a country then who would take your country serious? it'll be insignificant to the rest of the world.

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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 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, 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, 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.

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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.

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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, 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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 10:10 PM

 This video tells me that having an abundance of natural and mineral resources may not always lead to a country that is successful and rich. If the country is politically or economically unstable it could lead to violence within the area over the valuable goods. Also, the wealth generated from these goods could potentially make only a few people very rich and many other workers who collect these resources poor from low wages. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:50 PM

Congo has had wars and the militia has ended up taking a stride towards benefiting the congo. Every history begins and ends with new beginnings. For Congo, their journeys have ended and new ones are starting.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 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.

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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.

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Mrs. B's curator insight, February 15, 9:46 AM

Did you know the geometric boundary between US and Canada (the longest border in the world) is also a physical border? Check it out.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 5, 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. 

Jennifer Brown's curator insight, October 20, 9:49 AM

I really like CGPGrey's explaination of the borders between Canada and the US. It does however make me wonder how all 5,500 miles of it are patroled? Also having my kids go back and forth four times a day to go to school sounds a bit  much.

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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.

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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, 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, 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.

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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.

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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, 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, 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).

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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.

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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, 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.

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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.

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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, 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, 6:08 PM

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

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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.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, April 24, 4:48 PM

Puerto Rico as the U.S's 51st state? Why not? Puerto Rico is already a huge tourist state. The money that can be made off Puerto Rico can highly benefit the U.S. Puerto Rico will also be under U.S. government and have to literally provide money to the whole country. Puerto Rico could also benefit financially, politically and have even greater recognition.

James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 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, 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.

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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.

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Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 9:44 PM

I like how they feel that the prohibition on marijuana just made the use of it worse.  I feel like that is a problem in many countries, people only want to do it because it's illegal and it makes them look like a rebel.  Also it's only marijuana I mean thats barely a drug anyway, it's not like they legalized cocaine or heroin something that can cause harmful damage to a person's body.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:22 AM

Uruguay is definitely taking steps in the right direction here.  Instead of leaving drugs in the hands of street dealers and cartels, they are putting them in regulated establishments.  One could argue this is only going to promote drug use, but it will do the exact opposite.  Marijuana is proven to be safer than alcohol, and is wildly popular.  Uruaguay will soon see a decline, in crime, hard drug use, and an increase in social capital and most likey appetite.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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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.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 4:56 PM

These soon-to-be island would sure make one interesting auction.  Many of the small landforms in the world, and especially Pacific have always been contested by powerhouses such as China, Japan, or other smaller countries.  Having control isn't for the island itself necessarily but for what the ocean waters surrounding the landform may contain.  It could be fishing, trade routes, or even oil or natural gas settlements.  It makes it even more intersting when many of these underground landforms are possible volcanoes considering the majority of active volcanoes are underwater and near the ring of fire.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 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, 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.