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The History of Cuba-U.S. Relations

The History of Cuba-U.S. Relations | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
One of the last relics of the Cold War ended on December 17, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama announced a thawing of foreign relations policy between the United States and Cuba.


Tags: Cuba, podcast, Maps 101, historical.


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Why the side-hustle is key to Nigeria's economy

Nkem Ifejika meets with Nigerian entrepreneurs who show how the nation's economy is finding lubricants other than oil.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 20, 12:17 PM

The shadow economy, the black market or the side-hustle; these are all names for the informal sector of the economy.  In many countries such as Nigeria, this is a way of making money outside their normal jobs to boost their income and try to rise above just getting by.  "It was my grandmother who taught my mum that if you were lucky enough to have a salaried job, that was just pocket money. The real money came from your five to nine."  If working 9-to-5 represents the formal economy, this BBC podcast (and accompanying article) are all about the 5-to-9 economy. 


Tags: economic, laborNigeria, podcast

Rowena Spence Cortina's curator insight, March 10, 10:37 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

The shadow economy, the black market or the side-hustle; these are all names for the informal sector of the economy.  In many countries such as Nigeria, this is a way of making money outside their normal jobs to boost their income and try to rise above just getting by.  "It was my grandmother who taught my mum that if you were lucky enough to have a salaried job, that was just pocket money. The real money came from your five to nine."  If working 9-to-5 represents the formal economy, this BBC podcast (and accompanying article) are all about the 5-to-9 economy

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 14, 9:11 AM

unit 6

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The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split

The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
The division between Islam's Shiite minority and the Sunni majority is deepening across the Middle East. The split occurred soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, nearly 1,400 years ago.

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 3:13 PM

The two different branches in Islam are factors that contribute greatly to not being able to solve the problems occurring in the Middle East today.  This article gives the context on how the split happened and why geography played a role in what went on.  I think that it is very interesting that there is such a large number of Sunni's compared to Shiites.  Yet, the Shiites have remained influential in spite of the fact that they are outnumbered.  As the article says, a large number of Iranians and Iraqis (in the South) are of this branch.  In fact, Saddam Hussein was a Shiite and he ruled brutally over the country, killing people from each group (probably the only reason he could hold the country together was through fear).  Yet, Iran, in the other case, was not always Shiite, a invasion which occurred had the religion introduced to a once Sunni dominated area.  Yet, the European nations which came to the Middle East and divided it after the fall of the Ottoman Empire did not know about all this history, so when they divided countries they just drew borders.  In my opinion, because of the borders of the countries in the Middle East, as well as the rivalry between the two different faiths it is hard to hold such divided countries together.  

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 8:11 PM

The Islam-Sunni favors the father-in-law of Muhammad Abu Bakr and is strictly orthodox. The Islam-Shi'ite favors Muhammad's son-in-law Ali and it mostly practiced in Iran, southern Iraq and southern Lebanon. Sunni on the other hand is practiced throughout the northern part of Africa and throughout the whole middle east. In the middle east, 85% of the muslim population between Sunni and Shi'ite is Sunni and 15% practices Shia. Between Sunni and Shi'ite, Sunni appears to be the more popular and dominant Islamic religion.

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 31, 5:04 PM

The middle east is a topic of discussion for people throughout America. I say the Middle East in a broad sense because there are a numerous amount of topics one could discuss in regards to the middle east. Politics, violence, terrorism, the faith of Islam in general, the list goes on. But it seems not many people go into the Sunni Shiite conflict in depth. In order to understand much of what goes on in the Middle East one needs to understand the two divisions between Islam, why they exist and what has been the history/significance of the relationship. I wonder sometimes if the people reporting the news realize what they are saying, whom the people/groups of people involved are, and what the significance of there being is. The video shown in class involving the two news reporters discussing/asking questions  about the Middle East with a scholar on the show definitely proved people are ignorant to the Middle East. They painted it with a "broad brush." If they can't even realize the vast size of Islam and the fact that they are generalizing when reporting terrorism thus linking the faith of Islam in general to it then I can only imagine what it would do to their heads to find out that there are two main divisions of Islam. It's bad when the people reporting the news don't understand the significance of what they are saying. It raises questions as to how the American people, whom are not well versed in the Middle East, interpret Islam and its people. Reading articles and listening to discussions would certainly help educate people and honestly this "scoop" was very clear in stating the origin, meaning, and significance of the two different divisions.  

I find the oil situation in the Middle East interesting to say the least. The Shiite's are the clear minority in Islam yet they control 80% of the Middle East's oil. It is crazy to think how the Safavid Dynasty set up shop in what is now Iran... In time Iran would prove to be rich in oil. Other parts of the middle east that are extremely rich in oil like southern Iraq, the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon are also Shiite. So in this case the minority has access to and controls an extreme amount of wealth. I'm sure there are people whom discuss the Middle East and oil yet don't know the religious aspects of the territory. Just through taking five minutes to read an article such as this an individual may form a different perception of Islam or specifically, in regards to this paragraph, oil in the Middle East. 

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The History of Cuba-U.S. Relations

The History of Cuba-U.S. Relations | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
One of the last relics of the Cold War ended on December 17, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama announced a thawing of foreign relations policy between the United States and Cuba.


Tags: Cuba, podcast, Maps 101, historical.


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Is it all over for Greece in the EU?

Robert Peston crunches the numbers as finance ministers meet for vital loan talks.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 22, 9:58 PM

This audio clip shows how the Greek economic crisis is an issue on the national, regional, and global scales.  This BBC video and article also provide some nice context, asking the question, what would happen in Greece quits the Euro? 


Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, economic, podcast

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 28, 6:50 PM

If Greece decides to no longer be a part of the United Nations (UN), this will ultimately have a significant impact on Europe’s Union economy. The impact will affect not only Greece as country but also to all members of the UN. In addition to this enormous problem, it will be hard to keep together all countries if Greece goes because as we know certain countries as a Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France are also facing economic issues. Success depends largely on UN giving consent for the members of the organization. The downfall in this disagreement will weaken the economies of the European Union as a whole. On the other hand, cheap currency will create new opportunities and be beneficial for tourists.