"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."
Which Asian country has roared ahead over the past quarter-century, with millions of its people escaping poverty? And which Asian economy, still mainly rural, will be the continent’s next dynamo? Most would probably respond “China” to the first question and “India” to the second. But these answers would overlook a country that, in any other part of the world, would stand out for its past success and future promise.
Vietnam, with a population of more than 90m, has notched up the world’s second-fastest growth rate per person since 1990, behind only China. If it can maintain a 7% pace over the next decade, it will follow the same trajectory as erstwhile Asian tigers such as South Korea and Taiwan. Quite an achievement for a country that in the 1980s was emerging from decades of war and was as poor as Ethiopia.
This is one of those subjective lists that many people will agree with and many will not. I have chosen what I think are the greatest modern inventions and listed them from least to most important. Feel free to use the comments to add to the list or to debate my choices.
Yesterday, a GitHub file dump revealed all the registered domains listed to the “.kp” country code top-level domain for North Korea. Essentially, it revealed that the hermit kingdom only has 28 websites.
About 18 km to the west of Varna, Bulgaria, on the road to the capital of Sofia is a remarkable natural area called Pobiti Kamani or the Stone Forest. At first glance, it looks like the ruins of an ancient temple, but these broken stone pillars are all natural.
Greenland has the world's highest suicide rate. And teen boys are at the highest risk.
Like native people all around the Arctic — and all over the world — Greenlanders were seeing the deadly effects of rapid modernization and unprecedented cultural interference. American Indians and Alaska Natives (many of whom share Inuit roots with Greenlanders) had already seen many of their communities buckle under the same pressures.
It seems like every futurist and her sister wanted to turn cars into boats back in the 20th century. Remember the Water-Mobile of 1947? Or how about the poor man’s yacht of 1958? Well, this Jazz Age invention had them all beat.
"In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. What was once tightly controlled by the Arabs for centuries was now available throughout Europe with the establishment of the Ocean Spice Trade route connecting Europe directly to South Asia (India) and South East Asia."
It’s not easy studying animals when they’re long dead. Nevertheless, paleontologists have managed to deduce quite a bit over the years. Then new research challenges established thought or uncovers species so weird that scientists don’t know what to make of them.
"A narrow win for Colombia's opponents to a government peace deal with FARC rebels has thrown the country into disarray, leading one journalist to starkly declare, 'Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.' Likened to the fallout from the United Kingdom's 'Brexit' referendum, the vote's unexpected failure has left the Colombian political classes reeling and unsure how to respond in order to save four years of hard negotiation with the Marxist militia."
"What has lead to this marriage squeeze? First, millions women have gone 'missing'. A generation ago, a preference for sons and the greater availability of prenatal screening meant first Chinese couples, then Indian ones, started aborting female fetuses and only giving birth to boys. At its extreme, in parts of Asia, more than 120 boys were being born for every 100 girls. Now, the generation with distorted sex ratios at birth is reaching marriageable age. The result is that single men far outnumber women."
"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."
"If you want to understand the world of tomorrow, why not just look at a good map? For my (Parag Khanna) new book, Connectography, I researched every single significant cross-border infrastructure project linking countries together on every continent. I worked with the world’s leading cartography labs to literally map out what the future actually — physically — will look like.
It turns out that what most defines the emerging world is not fragmentation of countries but integration within regions. The same world that appears to be falling apart is actually coming together in much more concrete ways than today’s political maps suggest. Major world regions are forging dense infrastructural connectivity and reorienting their relations around supply chains rather than borders."
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