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DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests

DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three police officers and 14 civilians die in Kinshasa, capital of DR Congo, during protests calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The DRC is a land of great wealth but is impoverished.  This may seem strange to outsiders but the weakness of their social institutions pays a key role in keeping the economy from reaching it's potential.  Strong institutions matter more than resources for sustained economic development. The most important line in the article was the last one: "DR Congo has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence more than 55 years ago."  That is a staggering historical burden.  

 

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

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FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world's longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

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Mexico's Drug War

"Despite Mexico's strengthening democracy and booming economy, the country's security crisis rages on. Fifty thousand people have been killed in the past five years due to drug and organized crime-related violence."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Drug trafficking between Mexico and the Unites States has been burdening both countries for decades. Violence, drug abuse, kidnappings, murders, and government corruption are just a few of the issues that have resulted from it. The Mexican cartela are the culprits behind all of these issues. This gang is funded by drug money. They even exchange drugs for weapons over the U.S border. Recently, many Mexican marijuana farmers have stopped production due to the legalization of pot in many U.S states. Because pot is being produced in smaller quantities in Mexico, the amount of trafficking over the border will decrease, additionally resulting in lower crime rates and violence at the border. The only sure way to help end the drug war is to end the use of illegal drugs in both Mexico and the United States, but that is easier said than done.

 

TagsMexico, conflictnarcotics.

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How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Seth Dixon's insight:

Unraveling the situation on the ground in Syria is much like opening a Russian nesting doll, it's a battle, inside of a battle, inside of a battle. A complex series of local, regional, and global rivalries all playing out on the battle grounds of Syria, turning the country in a wasteland. It's created a nightmare for the millions of non-combatants forced to flee, and those stuck within the borders. What started as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad cracking down on Arab spring protesters in early 2011, quickly escalated into a civil war. Regional rivals Iran, and Saudi Arabia then got involved sending aid to differing sides. Soon, as a result of the rise of ISIS, the west and Russia chose to intervene. Lost in the greater game of Geo-politics is the sad, slow death of the optimism that accompanied the Arab Spring. As Marc Lynch laments in 'How Syria ruined the Arab Spring', all of the momentum was lost and forgotten when Al-Assad resorted to force and Syria became a pawn in regional and global geopolitics.

 

Tagsop-ed, Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Middle East.

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Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders

Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Violence and insecurity are so bad that other war-torn countries have become sites of refuge."

 

In 2015, nearly 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis traveled by boat to Yemen, one of the world's most dangerous countries. Last year, nearly 5,000 citizens of Congo, which is fighting powerful rebel groups, were seeking refuge in the Central African Republic, itself torn apart by civil war. And yet 10,000 Burundians have fled their country's own growing civil unrest for Congo. Thousands of Nigerians escaping the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram have gone to Chad, where different strains of that same insurgency conduct frequent deadly attacks. 

 

Developing countries have long taken in a disproportionate number of the world's refugees — roughly 80 percent, according to the United Nations. But even for migration experts and relief workers, the willingness of refugees to leave one war for another is shocking. It's also proving an enormous challenge for humanitarian agencies, which are already overstretched and often not equipped to welcome refugees in countries that are still racked by conflict.

 

Tags: refugeesAfrica, migration, conflict, political, war

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Global Peace Index

"The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict. Explore the state of world peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map. www.visionofhumanity.org "

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began, due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity while Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, has reached historically high levels of peace.  This might not seem shocking, but there is a great richness to this dataset that can provide detailed regional information as well as answer some big questions about global security.  Explore the data on your own with this interactive map of Global Peace or also of the states within the United States

 

Tags: political, terrorism, conflict, development, statistics, visualization, mapping, governance.

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Why America Needs a Slavery Museum

"The Whitney Plantation near Wallace, Louisiana, is the first and only U.S. museum and memorial to slavery. While other museums may include slavery in their exhibits, the Whitney Plantation is the first of its kind to focus primarily on the institution. John Cummings, a 78-year-old white southerner, has spent 16 years and more than $8 million of his own fortune to build the project, which opened in December of last year.

Cummings, a successful trial attorney, developed the museum with the help of his full-time director of research, Ibrahima Seck. The duo hope to educate people on the realities of slavery in its time and its impact in the United States today. 'The history of this country is rooted in slavery,' says Seck. 'If you don’t understand the source of the problem, how can you solve it?'"

 

Tags: raceconflictracism, historicalthe Southlandscape.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Additionally, here is a list of 13 honest books about slavery that young people should actually read.  

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Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 3, 10:25 AM

Additionally, here is a list of 13 honest books about slavery that young people should actually read.  

Christian Allié's curator insight, March 5, 3:10 AM

Additionally, here is a list of 13 honest books about slavery that young people should actually read.  

Aris Pastidis's curator insight, March 11, 1:24 AM

Additionally, here is a list of 13 honest books about slavery that young people should actually read.  

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Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Chinese government has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NY Times article is a good update on the situation of Xianjiang.  I wish this was available when I wrote this article (with links for more teaching resources) for the National Geographic Education Blog on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  

 

TagsCentral Asia, culturepoliticalconflictgovernance,ChinaEast AsiareligionIslamlandscape.

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Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons.

Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Persecuting religious minorities that are perceived as a political threat is a time-honored American tradition.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not intended to be a political post, but one that reflects of the history of religious persecution in the United States.  If you find that to be a controversial political topic, so be it.  In the past, when Americans have suspected that a religious group is undermining it's country’s free, democratic political order, we have demanded—often violently—some radical action against that group.  Let that past stay in the past.  

 

Tags: religionUSA, historical, conflict

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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, December 12, 2015 3:45 PM
The author is the article, Henry Farrell, interviews David T. Smith about Donald Trump's statement about not allowing anymore Muslims to come to the U.S. He says that this is a pattern of persecutions, as many religions have been persecuted through the history of the U.S. He uses examples from Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. They have all been restricted income rights, or attacked by the government in the 19 and 20 centuries. DTS says that what the current president and the old president have done regarding Islamic extremist is controversial. Both president Bush and Obama have said that ISIS and other terrier groups could be considered not even Islamic or religious as to not be labeled as attacking a religion, so it can rather be seen as simply terrorist and then have the peaceful Muslims be kept protected.
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Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back'

Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russian warplane crashes in Latakia province in Syria and two pilots seen ejecting from the aircraft.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A border is not a line in the sand but a vertical plane, defining airspace as well as underground assets. The protection of borders and airspace is something that sovereign states take very seriously and can lead to some tense situations.  


Tags: borders, political, conflict, geopolitics.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 4:48 PM

it is truly insane that turkey would shoot down a Russian jet engaging anyone in Syria, especially when the Turks are shooting at the Kurds, who are fighting the people that the Turks claim to hate. this is especially troubling, as Turkey is a part of NATO and may drag the rest of the NATO nations into any war they start.

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Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World

Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.
Seth Dixon's insight:


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, November 21, 2015 3:41 PM
The Paris attacks from ISIS are now being discovered as linked to other attacks that ISIS has planned out. They have up until now according to the article, done 'lone wolf' attacks and now are changing to bigger and city kind of attacks across the globe. They are taking over much of the Middle East and Africa, in hopes to make that area chaotic enough to start more global conflict and another world war, accoring to the article. There have been studies and research in tracking ISIS and they have found that attacks in many other cities in the world have been inspired by ISIS as well.
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:23 PM

These maps were very helpful in understanding the spread and threat of ISIS. It also helps the understanding of just what a wide range of places they have attacked is. They are capable of striking much of the world in the name of fundamentalism. However, the video of Muslim's chanting is one of those things that can kind of turn down the fear, especially of admitting refugees, that has gripped much of the world. We are as safe as we can be, but idea's are bulletproof and there's no end in sight to the elimination of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:55 AM

Read this article and fill out your Socratic seminar question sheet for the inner/outer circle on Tues, Dec 8

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China's Maritime Claims

ONE reason China’s spectacular rise sometimes alarms its neighbours is that it is not a status quo power. From its inland, western borders to its eastern and southern seaboard, it claims territory it does not control.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many of the geopolitical conflicts in the East Pacific have their roots in the territorial disputes over islands that at first glance seem as if they wouldn't be worth the trouble; how did this become a tense situation?  Since the UNCLOS agreement gives countries 200 nautical miles off their coasts to be an Exclusive Economic Zone, that greatly enhanced the strategic value of controlling these islands and the shipping lanes.  The United States, to counter Chinese claims, has used the Navy to go near some of the claimed (and reclaimed) islands recently.  This interactive map briefly highlights some of the details behind the conflicts with links for further readings. 


Questions to Ponder: Why do countries care so much about some minor islands?  Why would other countries not want to accept China's territorial assertions?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, East Asia.

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Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 3:06 PM

Chinese expansion into the South Sea has been a longtime coming, and China's actions in the region are both a reflection of its growing strength and a huge diplomatic headache for the US and every other nation in the region. China's construction of artificial islands allows it to claim autonomy over a larger body of water, challenging the maritime power of every other nation in South East Asia, many of whom have economies reliant on the waters China now claims as its own, some 500 miles away from the Chinese mainland. With the emergence of the Chinese economy as a global power, its ambitious leaders have made plans to transform China from a regional military force to a new superpower- one that the established order, the US included, is entirely unsure of. Which of these nations can truly challenge China's decision to make these waters it's personal pond? It would be economic and political suicide, as China is an enormous global trading power, and has the potential to crush any of these nations in a military engagement. Could Japan? Perhaps, but the Chinese have already pressed ahead with their plans, regardless of Japanese political pressure. Involvement of the US is perhaps the last thing anyone wants- particularly both the US and China- but it is perhaps the only way China will heed pressure from abroad and cease  Chinese expansion in the region. The US and China must be allies, for the sake of global prosperity, but actions like these cannot be tolerated, by either party.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:51 PM

One reason to care about minor islands is the 200 nautical miles off the coast for the EEZ. This would give china more water territory for drilling of oil which I believe is there in those waters. Flexing more muscle for their navy to grow. Strategically the Chinese could take over these small islands and build air strips for future which would give them a chance to reach places they wouldn't be able to before and this would be good supply transactions during war, fueling, maneuver of man power. The other small countries also would lose their independence and would have to fall under china's rule. With the building of the man made islands and the Chinese navy protecting their people while they continue to build these islands and daring anyone to try and stop them is a sign that china is trying to dominate and expand with muscle. It is their time they have the economic, and military power to do so. Of course they don't want to deal with the u.s. and their allies militarily but it doesn't benefit the u.s. either. I don't believe u.s. wants to get involved in a battle with china and their allies.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:17 PM

Claiming territory it does not control, causes a lot of controversy with other country. The main problem here now is China is having a dispute with Japan about some islands. There could possibly be oil or natural resources.Japan says that the land was always theirs. China clearly likes to just put itself out there and make claims or place oil rigs wherever. This could be a big problem for them because if someone gets too offended by their actions there could end up being a war or some sort of conflict. Especially since they like to use military forces such as navy and air guarding "territory." 

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This Is My Land

How do the Palestinian and Israeli (Arab and Jewish) education systems teach the history of their nations? The film follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers over one academic year. Observing their exchanges and confrontations with students, debates with the ministries curriculum and its restrictions, the viewers obtain an intimate glimpse into the profound and long lasting effect that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict transmits onto the next generation.


Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 22, 2015 8:01 AM

The teaching of history is often very political. You can not separate history from politics. The majority of history class end up focusing on some form of political history. History is all about interpretation. There is no one exact way to interpret an event. This opens up the discipline to being used to foster certain political ideals. Every leader of a nation will try to justify his or hers actions by finding an historical precedent. The history taught in Israeli schools, is going to be pro Israeli. The same is true for the Palestinians. Each side is looking to justify their current polices by telling an historical narrative from their own point of view. Each successive generation will learn the history the government wants them to know.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:47 PM

It's very interesting to see what the Palestinian perceive as peace/freedom as and what the Israelis vice versa. The education systems in both nation influence their beliefs on this idea of freedom. The Israelis see freedom as not having the constant fear of being harmed by their neighboring country. On the other hand, the Palestinian see freedom as claiming back their land and driving the Jews away from it. It is truly sad to know that there is a very little chance that peace will exist in this region.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 6:41 PM

this is an interesting example of how the teachings of a certain group can influence the perception of the world around you, especially when you are young.

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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Feyisa Lilesa crosses his arms as he wins a silver medal - a gesture used by his Oromo people at home to protest against the government.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Olympics can bring to interesting cultural and political issues to a larger international audience.  The Oromo people in Ethiopia are off our collective radar, but this marathoner made the world pay attention and start to ask questions about a part of the world that rarely gets global attention.  Some other examples of how you can link students' interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world include:

What was your favorite 'teaching moment' from the Olympics?

Tags:  political, conflict, sport.

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Do The Math - Why The Illegal Business Is Thriving

Do The Math - Why The Illegal Business Is Thriving | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Globalization hit organized crime over the last decade and now is integral to its most profitable business -- the international narcotics traffic. Once a regional problem involving a customer base of a few million, and barely a billion dollars in sales, the illegal drug industry is now a worldwide enterprise with tens of millions of hard core consumers spending hundreds of billions on opiates, cocaine and amphetamines and marijuana, as well as other drugs."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls drug trafficking “a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.”  While some individuals are profiting off these drugs, the overall impact of the society and the places involved with the illegal trade is detrimental. 

 

Tags: globalization, conflictnarcotics.

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Himanshu Sharma's curator insight, June 27, 5:26 AM

Love marriage specialist baba ji for all spouses for their knowledge of astrology says people once the compatibility factor has often made want to know what kind of husband / wife get etc.

 

Love marriage specialist baba ji

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Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal

Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Armenian American journalist Liana Aghajanian says the German parliament's decision is all the more groundbreaking because it was a politician of Turkish descent who pushed it through.

 

The German Bundestag's overwhelming vote last week in favor of this resolution, with just one vote against and one abstention, brought both gratitude and anger. Armenian communities, many of them descendants of genocide survivors who are dispersed across the world, are grateful. Turkey, however, was incensed and recalled its ambassador to Germany. Many Turks see the vote as not just a threat to longstanding German-Turkish relations, but to Turkish national identity.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've posted in about the Armenian genocide in the past, and until Turkey acknowledges that it was a genocide, this issue will continue to fester.  Considering that Germany has a large Turkish population and an obvious historical connection to genocide, this recognition is far more important some other random country taking this stance. 

 

TagsArmenia, genocidepolitical, conflict, TurkeyGermanywar, historical.  

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2015 Saw a Decrease in Global Religious Freedom

2015 Saw a Decrease in Global Religious Freedom | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The global refugee crisis, political strife and economic dislocation all contributed to a worldwide deterioration of religious freedom in 2015 and an increase in societal intolerance, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is one of the sad results of the many global conflicts today and increase in reactionary political movements that scapegoat religious minorities.  The image above is a map/wordle of the 18th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."  

 

Tags: religion, ChristianityIslamBuddhismHinduismJudaism, podcastconflict, refugees.

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A brief history of the U.S. and Cuba

150 years of tension may be coming to an end.
Seth Dixon's insight:

 

This video offers some good perspective on the competing historical visions that help to shape the tension between the United States and Cuba.  I enjoyed this one because it explicitly states during what many refer to as the age of imperialism.

 

Questions to Ponder:  How would you feel about the normalizing of political and economic relations between the United States and Cuba if you grew up in Cuba?  What if you were from a Cuban-American family that fled Castro's regime?   

 

TagsCuba, historical, conflict, political, geopoliticscolonialism, video.

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Ten Ways on How Not To Think About the Iran/Saudi Conflict

Ten Ways on How Not To Think About the Iran/Saudi Conflict | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Sometimes when a conflict involves Muslims, Islam may not be the best category for understanding it. Omid Safi with a reflection on the current crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and why framing it as religion is not the most helpful framework."

 

In the last few days, virtually every news outlet has featured a series of stories on the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The conflict by now is well-known: Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including Shi‘i cleric Nimr al-Nimr. While both Iran and Saudi Arabia are among the worst global executioners of dissidents, the sheer size of these executions was rare even by their gruesome standards. Iran retaliated through bombastic rhetoric, stating, “God’s hand of retaliation will grip the neck of Saudi politicians.” The two countries have broken off diplomatic relations, a tension that has rippled across the region. 

 

TagsSaudi Arabia, political, conflict, Iran, Middle East.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a good reminder that the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is not just a Persian/Arab, Sunni/Shiite issue.  This isn't just some resurgence of an ancient battle but there are many modern geopolitical issues including oil and regional rivalries.

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Corine Ramos's curator insight, January 22, 12:05 PM

This is a good reminder that the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is not just a Persian/Arab, Sunni/Shiite issue.  This isn't just some resurgence of an ancient battle but there are many modern geopolitical issues including oil and regional rivalries.

Mr. D's Social Studies Classroom's curator insight, March 2, 5:55 PM

This is a good reminder that the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is not just a Persian/Arab, Sunni/Shiite issue.  This isn't just some resurgence of an ancient battle but there are many modern geopolitical issues including oil and regional rivalries.

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Where ISIS Gained and Lost Territory This Year

Where ISIS Gained and Lost Territory This Year | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Islamic State has lost 14 percent of the territory it held in January, according to a new analysis.

 

Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict.

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Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation

Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A Chinese military newspaper gives graphic details of a raid in Xinjiang province against suspected militants." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC article gives an update on China's crackdown on Uighur nationalism under the guise of cracking down of 'foreign terrorists.'  Earlier this year I wrote this article for the National Geographic Education Blog on this topic, the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province of Xinjiang.  


TagsCentral Asia, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:11 PM

As a student who someday wants to teach social studies at the high school level, this article brought to light one of the hardest concepts to teach. There are always two sides to every story. While the victors get to write history, the victims are often silenced over time. One man's violent rebellion is another man's treasonous operations. Honestly, the Chinese have done an excellent job of keeping this out of the western media. The only real struggle we ever hear about in China that of Tibet and Taiwan.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:37 PM

This is really disturbing to know that China is attacking their ethnic minority who is just protesting for what they believing in. To make things worst, the Chinese government controls the media and they basically can say whatever they want. For example, referring to these ethnic minority as foreign terrorist. That changes the perspective on how people view and perceive the situation happening in Xinjiang.

Patty B's curator insight, April 29, 12:15 PM
This article goes to show that violence between different sects within a region is widespread. In today's day and age, this type of conflict is stereotyped to the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Africa. But this article explains that the Chinese are dealing with similar religious disagreements, and these disagreements lead to fear of terrorism and, in this case, acts of terrorism. This is not the typical news Americans hear coming from China. Most often Americans are interested in what is happening within the Chinese financial sector, not necessarily its political and religious happenings. The article brings to light issues of religious toleration and freedom of religion that exist throughout the world. People everywhere are on high alert when it comes to religious groups that challenge the political establishment. Those groups often get labeled as terrorist organizations and violence often times ensues, as seen in this case. Turmoil like this is common, of course, in the Middle East. This article is similar to the majority US coverage of what is happening in the Middle East. In other words, more often than not, when a news story breaks in the US regarding the Middle East, it will have to do with violence or terrorism. But you don't hear those types of stories everyday coming from East Asia. But this article exemplifies the fact that just because the media doesn't report it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. The media reports what people want to hear. 
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ISIS: A New Threat

ISIS: A New Threat | Geography Education | Scoop.it

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East
  • Interpret political cartoons on the U.S. response to ISIS
  • Identify the techniques used by cartoonists to express political opinion
  • Monitor the news media coverage of ISIS over time
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Choices Program produces some great materials and this is from their Teaching with the News series.  The newest in the series is a resource guide for the terrorist attacks in Paris.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS, Choices.

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Paris attacks mark a shift in ISIS-Al Qaeda relations

Paris attacks mark a shift in ISIS-Al Qaeda relations | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The attacks suggest that ISIS is being forced into 'mainstream' terrorism long before it had planned to and a terrible meeting of the minds between Al Qaeda and ISIS."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is more 'instant analysis' than a sustained inquiry into the attacks, so take the conclusions with a grain of salt.  However, the idea that the strategic aims of ISIS (a.k.a.-IS, ISIL) and Al-Qaeda are starting to align is worth investing.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics.

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IRENE's curator insight, November 15, 2015 8:09 AM

Los ataques que sufrió París ya han sido reivindicados por el ISIS.

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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A few weeks back I posted a shorter (90 seconds) BBC video on the Syrian war.  This Vox video adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  


TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I read articles about the Syrian war and watched this film and I got to tell you it sure is confusing. The picture on one of the websites that really disturbed me is the father holding his lifeless  8 or 9 year old daughter in his arms. I have a 9 year old daughter and it was her birthday on that day I saw the picture. Sometimes it is better emotionally to be ignorant about what is going on in the world.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:37 PM

Syrian civil war has escalated into a proxy wars between many nations that all have different goals in mind. It all started from the Arab Spring and is still on-going because there are many sides taking place and none of them wants to back down. Mainly due to the emerge of the Islamic State that cause a shift in the war of fighting a terrorism organization to fighting the different factions within Syria. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:19 PM

An interesting and well written breakdown of the Syrian war and its local, regional and global factors that have caused the escalation to this point. It should however be pointed out that some of the information within the video is actually wrong. The United Nations did a investigation and report regarding the use of chemical weapons and found ti was the rebels not Assad who had used them. Furthermore it leaves out some reports from the initial protests in Syria that some of them were armed with weapons and fired on police (suggesting that instead of one side it was mutual escalation). Plus much of the fighting in Syria is also sectarian with Shiites backing Assad and the Sunnis backing Assad's opposition (prior global intervention). If these pieces of information were corrected in addition to talking about the Kurdish predicament a bit more along with the origins of ISIS the video would be perfect. So in a way I suppose the video kind of left out important local geographic details that influenced the regional and global ones.