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"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 4, 4:10 PM

Last year this was an intriguing story but now the geopolitical drama is growing as more countries are literally building islands out of reef outcroppings to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea.  For some without geographic expertise, this might some baffling.  For those that understand Exclusive Economic Zones, maritime claims, and expanding geopolitical aspirations, this makes perfect sense. 

 

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

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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Workers, including children, labor in harsh and dangerous conditions to meet the world’s soaring demand for cobalt, a mineral essential to powering electric vehicles, laptops, and smartphones, according to an investigation by The Washington Post.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 2, 2016 6:47 PM

Links between the products we use and other people, places and environments - and the consequences of production. 

Gayle Kakac's curator insight, October 3, 2016 10:31 AM
I'm afraid this is a very sad aspect of our technology.

ROCAFORT's curator insight, October 4, 2016 2:29 AM
This is where your smartphone battery begins
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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 | HMHS History | 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.

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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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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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Syrian Journey: Choose your own route

Syrian Journey: Choose your own route | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian migrant and see whether you could make the right choices on the journey to Europe.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:01 PM

Citizens of Syria have experienced difficult times since their country entered into a period of continual war in the past few decades. People migrate to Europe in demand of better life for their families. All begin with a plan and a &helper,&  called trafficker or coyote in Mexico, and money to cross few borders and be able to live life free from war. Although, with countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with a massive migrations, tough economies, lack of jobs, nothing and no one is safe. However, Europe is very attractive in terms of quality life and safety to raise families. Furthermore, to be able to survive during this migration transition, many risks are involved and even in some cases, killings. Immigrants migrate by boat, truck, train, and sometimes even walking. Day or night immigrants keep moving and pay  high prices to be transported to the next point. It takes them weeks, months, and even years to reach thier final destinations. This is the same for those immigrants in Mexico and U.S. 

Claire Law's curator insight, April 25, 2015 8:41 PM

UK interactive resource to put students in the shoes of refugees fleeing conflict

zane alan berger's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:42 PM

this is a virtual stimulator showing the struggle of a Syrian migrant, proving that one risky decision can be detrimental for these people. this can be related to the migration unit

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High Security Borders

High Security Borders | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Accelerated through the fear from the attacks of 9/11 and all what followed, the so called ‘Western Society’ is constructing the greatest wall ever build on this planet. On different building sites on all five inhabitable continents, walls, fences and high-tech border surveillance are under construction in order to secure the citizens and their high quality of life within this system. The fall of the Berlin Wall was described as the historical moment that marks the demolition of world’s last barrier between nation states. Yet it took the European Union only six years to create with the Schengen Agreement in 1995 a new division only 80km offset to the east of Berlin.

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Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 13, 2015 11:04 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This article explains how the world is filled with division and segregation. Some of the most notable are the walls are the wall in berlin, the wall/border/river/fence between the u.s. and mexico and the border between north and south Korea is the most notable walls.

This article relates to unit 4 because it shows how people, through borders, have divided them through history creating new politics, culture and borders themselves. The political processes involved can change the policies and shapes of nations in the world.

Monika Fleischmann's curator insight, February 15, 2015 4:48 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows that hi-tech political surveillance of borders is highly correlated with the core areas of the global economy and some of the most attractive immigrant destinations.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What else do you see in this map?  What does this say about the world order?  Are there patterns that this map reveals/conceals?   


tom cockburn's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:19 AM

More than simple  'culture clash' or  'politics of fear' etc

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U.S. and Cuba's Rocky Relations

"President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of antagonism. Bloomberg's Sam Grobart recaps the standoff between the two nations, and explains why the icy relationship has begun to thaw."


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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 10, 2015 12:13 PM

The causes of the issues between the two countries, most surely, can be traced to both sides.  Millions of people have been affected by the hostile relationship.  A relationship that has been at a standstill for decades.  I have always looked at this dynamic as defying logic and common sense.  Without taking sides, one could look at the last half a century from afar, and conclude that it was ultimately a big waste of time and something that probably could have either been avoided altogether or ended a long time ago if it weren't for stubbornness on both sides.  Finally, we are starting to see the construction of the "light at the end of the tunnel", per say.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:10 PM

I'm amazed that we have had no relations with Cuba for so long.  All it took was one man-Castro-to keep the separation going for so long.  It is time to let go.  Besides, if you were really worried about another country wouldn't you want to have some sort of diplomatic relationship so you could keep a close eye?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 5:54 AM

The Presidents decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba set off some controversy in the United States. Some Republicans, such as Florida senator Marco Rubio were quite critical of the Presidents new policy. Overall I was surprised at how little controversy erupted from the move. The Cuban community in the United States was divided on the issue. Older Cubans, many of whom fled Cuba after the Castro revolution in 1959 opposed the move. Younger Cubans generally feel that it is time to try a  new approach toward the communist nation. Our policy of isolating Cuba has not led to the desired regime change that many had hoped for. If anything it has hurt the innocent citizens of Cuba more than the Castro brothers. They are the ones who have suffered the effects of economic embargos. History will judge the Presidents move to normalize relations. For the sake of the Cuban people, lets hope that this new policy will finally result in a free democratic Cuba.

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Security Still A Major Concern In Sochi

ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:14 PM

Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:57 PM

The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and  increase of security at the games this year. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:29 PM

The Olympic games only come around every four years. From a spectators point of view, these games are a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people will be watching them from home and in attendance in Sochi. Threats against HUGE events like these need to be taken seriously. Whether or not they are realistic, with so many lives in potential danger Russia needs to take the threats seriously.

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How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines

How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines | HMHS History | Scoop.it

Few know "boondocks" is a relic of U.S. military occupation in the Philippines.

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 8, 2013 10:06 PM

I imaged that the term 'the boondocks' was of Asian origin, but I was surprised to learn how this U.S. military lingo was able to become a mainstream term.  The Tagalog word bundok means mountain and given the guerrilla warfare tactics, U.S. soldiers thought of their enemies as hiding 'in the boondocks.' This term spread throughout the military to mean an isolated region, but today the term has morphed from its military-based meaning of mountainous jungles to one that can also describe a sparsely populated rural America.  This is a fascinating article from NPR's Code Switch team that focuses on issues of culture, identity and race. 


Tags: language, toponyms, historical, conflict, culturediffusion.

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 13, 2013 3:06 AM

We have all heard the phrase living in the "Boonies" The boondocks was a word that was taken from a philipino word called Bundok, that meant the guerilla warfare they were experiencing from phillipino insurgents during the Spanish American War with the America. In this war which Teddy Roosevelt helped lead we gained US Puerto Rico and Guam as new Territories from the Treaty of Paris. The war was fought against Emilio Aguinaldo who was a master at guerilla tactics against American soldiers. This was a desperate war involving coloniazation or exerting our power as a country against other countries that ammassed a huge death toll. Now that we know the word boondok, is not an all American word that was popularized in the 1950's but it was actually taken from the Phillipino language during a time of fighting in the Jungle or the Sticks. But boondocks also refers to a people living around mouintainous regions. Just some food for thought.

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

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | HMHS History | 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.

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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, 2015 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.

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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 4, 2016 9:51 PM

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

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

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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 "



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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 15, 2016 8:53 AM

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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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.

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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.

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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | HMHS History | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:38 PM
Going by either the name Xinjiang or Eastern Turkistan, Sometimes when people cannot agree on the name of a single place there is conflict, but apparently not here. it became an economic hub after they extracted natural gas, oil, and coal. Because of its location, a lot of the people in the area are Turkish and are Muslim. The Chinese government does not really like this and they are doing what they can to get rid of the Muslim ways, for example, one thing they have done is denounce the hijab, or ban any religious displays. .
Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:11 AM

It is important to recognize that in a country so big, not everywhere is going to be the same. There is the city, the colder region, the dryer region, the warmer region, rural area etc. It is important to know that cultures are different as well. Some people refer to the red highlighted area s Xinjiang, but others call it Eastern Turkistan. Clearly, there are some cultural and political issues that reside in this area. The big concern is that the area is bordered to Central Asia and Eastern Asia as it has more Central and Eastern Asia characteristics as the people speak Turkic language and are predominantly Muslim. This goes to show that the Uygurs in this area are struggling to gain political power from China. Could there be a possible autonomy fight for this region? would it be politically and economically stable to stand on its own? 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

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Can these satellite images save lives? The U.N. thinks so

Can these satellite images save lives? The U.N. thinks so | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Stunning images taken from space put the world's crises into context.

 

U.N. satellite imagery has tracked the evolution of the camp since its creation. The exponential growth is remarkable.  The refugee camp is rapidly taking the shape of a real city — structured, planned and even separated into neighborhoods and subject to gentrification.

 

Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, war, squatter, urban, unit 7 cities, remote sensing, geospatial. 

 


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tom cockburn's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:13 AM

Raises a number of serious questions.Not only about the middle East but about habitation,cultural development and resource distribution and deployment inequalities

Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:00 PM

I definitely think that it would. It is impressive to see how a urban planning affected the land designed by the refuges. Within a few years through satellite imaging, we can witness and appreciate how  the Zaatarie refugee campus went from a few refugees to a total urbanized area receiving and distributed more than 85,000 refuges in the area. Urban planning plays a big role in regards to how display all populations. However, we have to take in consideration that when a massive population in one area is displayed, urban area is also relevant in terms of disciplines, public healthy, collaboration to live under a community rules. On other hand, natural disasters and destruction by war can wipe out entire cities within seconds. The satellite images were able to show the destruction that took place in the Syrian city of Hamas after natural diasters devastated the region and the wartorn afternmath of Gaza city. Natural disasters and war trigger a massive migration of refugees in search for better a life and opportunity.

Max Minard's curator insight, March 21, 2015 9:26 PM

This report refers to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan which is experiencing rapid growth in population with 85,000 citizens and is even starting to look as a "city built form scratch". The reason geographers think that satellite imagery can save refugee lives is because it allows them to view areas of the camp in which they are unable to reach on ground. This information will help health workers pinpoint these certain hidden areas and tend to the people who are there. This use of satellite imagery centers around the camps rapid growth in population, making it quite a challenge to scale on ground. 

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Recent Developments in the Ukraine Conflict

"Stratfor Military Analysts Paul Floyd and Sim Tack discuss how Russia's strategy will maintain options as violence in eastern Ukraine continues."


Tags: Ukraine, conflict, geopolitics, political.


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Bharat Employment's curator insight, February 9, 2015 11:28 PM

http://www.bharatemployment.com/

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 6:15 PM

I cant believe the cease fire lasted all but 40 minutes!  Putin and Russia are a bunch of scumbags that are just looking for conflict.  As if Russia is not large enough that they have to scrap for these small areas of Ukraine.  Its going to be because of assholes like this that get other countries involved and many lives end up getting lost.  

Avery Liardon's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:46 PM

Unit 4 :

Russia beginning to take violent actions against the Ukraine. It is interesting to view the military strategies that countries take, and to see the outcomes of these schemes. 

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Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt?

Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt? | HMHS History | Scoop.it

As the climate shifts, rivers will both flood and dry up more often, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Shortages are especially likely in parts of the world already strapped for water, so political scientists expect feuds will become even more intense. To track disputes worldwide, researchers at Oregon State University spent a decade building a comprehensive database of international exchanges—-both conflicts and alliances—over shared water resources. They found that countries often begin disputes belligerently but ultimately reach peaceful agreements. Says Aaron Wolf, the geographer who leads the project, “For me the really interesting part is how even Arabs and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, are able to resolve their differences and find a solution.”


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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 20, 2014 2:50 PM

Questões políticas... 

J. Mark Schwanz's curator insight, June 21, 2014 11:01 AM

Add water to geography education curriculum? You better believe it. The crisis of the 21st century is and will be water.  

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:36 AM

summer reading KQ2: How have humans altered the Earth's environment?  Water Security

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A short, recent history of Congo

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

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 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.  

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:00 PM

once again a recurring theme, greedy and corrupt people running countries. with such immense mineral deposits how can this country not be prospering. because the people of these countries are selfish and once again not nationalistic to the point where people will try to make a significant change.

Brian von Kraus's curator insight, January 12, 2016 6:15 PM

Amazing videographic from The Economist showing the recent history of Congo that explains the current instability of the country. 

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Interactives: War and Refugees

Interactives: War and Refugees | HMHS History | Scoop.it

UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.


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Emilie Kochert's curator insight, September 8, 2013 4:25 AM

via gduboz

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 6, 2014 12:16 PM

unit 2

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:16 PM

Unit 2: Population and Migration

 

This article features an interactive map that displays the numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. You are able to look through the years and see the varying amounts of IDPs, as well as the countries that produced the most of them and which continue to.

 

This goes along with the human geography theme of refugees and IDPs, and this is a very helpful article in providing a simple way to see an overview of where and to what extent this most occurs.