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New city to rise within Dubai: Shaikh Mohammad

The new city will feature world class leisure facilities for 35 million visitors...


His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the establishment of a new city within Dubai, setting new benchmarks in urban development in the region.Comprising four key components, the new city, which will be called “Mohammad Bin Rashid City”, will feature world class leisure facilities and provide an integrated environment for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation.

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chris tobin's comment, March 14, 2013 8:47 AM
Tourism is big business. Tourists need to obey local customs and laws which may be different than our own.
Regional Geography
Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
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This is Taliban country

This is Taliban country | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Fault Lines reports from a Taliban stronghold just an hour outside Kabul, where armed fighters openly patrol streets.


A Taliban stronghold in the Charkh District, just an hour outside Kabul, has become a microcosm of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Though only an hour from Kabul, armed Taliban patrol the streets openly and have built a parallel administration in Charkh, including Islamic law courts and girls schools.

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Russia urges caution in east Ukraine

Russia urges caution in east Ukraine | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"The new administration in Kiev is struggling for credibility in the east of the country and several towns and cities were effectively taken over by pro-Russian groups over the weekend."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The official U.S. State Department's analysis of the data that concludes that Russia is behind the pro-Russian uprising can be seen here.

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Tsunami alert after 8.2 Chile quake

Tsunami alert after 8.2 Chile quake | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Waves of up to 2.1m (6ft) have hit some areas in Chile, and there have been power cuts, fires and landslides. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in affected areas, where a state of emergency has been declared. Chilean TV broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people tried to leave. Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or died of heart attacks. Iquique Governor Gonzalo Prieto told local media that in addition to those killed, several people had been seriously injured. While the government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, a number of adobe homes were reported destroyed in Arica.

Seth Dixon's insight:

See some of footage of the when the quake actually hit here.

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 10:32 AM

What happens in one place can affect another. The earthquake in this location could have sent a tsunami rippling towards another country in another part of the world. Not only are there environmental concerns but the results of ineffective infrastructure can be seen in traffic jams, adobe homes crumbling, or in walls collapsing on people.  As the article points out, there were also landslides which if they were in an area that was heavily logged, may have been avoided with more trees. With people leaving the center of the affected area - surrounding cities and towns may get overwhelmed by refugees, which will put strain on their resources.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 17, 11:14 AM

Another example of how the most beautiful places to live can also be some of the most dangerous. Fortunately this happens often enough here that there is a warning system already established which saves lives.

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7 parts of Russia that other countries could call theirs

7 parts of Russia that other countries could call theirs | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
If Crimea ‘historically’ belongs to Russia, these other regions ‘historically’ don’t.


The rise and fall of empires, two World Wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union mean the map of Europe has been redrawn more times than Russian President Vladimir Putin has posed shirtless. And anyone who claims they owned anywhere first would, if they were being entirely honest, probably have to admit that someone else got there before them.

That was Putin’s logic for the Russian annexation of Crimea. It used to be ours. Therefore it always was, therefore it still is.

Well, by the same token, several other countries could take bites out of Russia. The world’s largest country didn’t start off that way. Just like every other empire, it invaded, conquered, negotiated and seized the lands it now calls its own.

Some of those lands are fiercely disputed to this day, some are the subjects of uneasy settlements, and some have long ago been relinquished to Russia’s unchallenged control. But here’s a list of the most important Russian territories that other countries could, if they chose, try to claim back.


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Mr. Gresham's curator insight, April 11, 5:49 AM

Examples of irredentism?

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Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Russians are celebrating Crimea's return. The West is bent on punishing Moscow. And Ukrainians are feeling more besieged than ever.


The past week has once again dramatized just how differently Russia, Ukraine, and the West perceive the crisis in Crimea. While Washington and Brussels are sternly defending Ukraine and weighing punishments for Russia's annexation of Crimea, Russians are rallying around their national flag, celebrating the "historical fairness" of Crimea's return to their country, and smirking sarcastically at the West's every move. Ukraine, meanwhile, remains caught up in the endless cycle of drama and crisis that the supporters of the recent popular uprising in Kiev call the "Revolution of Dignity."

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Russian and British embassies are fighting over Crimea on Twitter

Russian and British embassies are fighting over Crimea on Twitter | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The Twitter spat is usually confined to rappers and minor celebrities, but Russia's UK embassy and the UK's Russian embassy had a brief war of words this week over the 'will of the people' in Crimea.
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Crimean Tatars Will Have to Vacate Land

Crimean Tatars Will Have to Vacate Land | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea will ask Tatars to vacate part of the land where they now live in exchange for new territory elsewhere in the region, a top Crimean government official said Tuesday.


Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday the new government in Crimea, where residents voted Sunday to become part of Russia, wants to regularize the land unofficially taken over by Crimean Tatar squatters following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We have asked the Crimean Tatars to vacate part of their land, which is required for social needs,” Temirgaliyev said. “But we are ready to allocate and legalize many other plots of land to ensure a normal life for the Crimean Tatars,” he said.

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, March 20, 8:55 AM

The same thing happened to these people back during World War 11. I saw this on Al Jazeera

Stephen Zimmett's comment, March 20, 8:57 AM
The same thing happened to these people back in World War11
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US suspends diplomatic relations with Syria

US suspends diplomatic relations with Syria | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Washington tells the Syrian government to immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States.


Rubenstein said the order responds to a decision by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to suspend its own consular services. However, Rubenstein said the US wants to continue diplomatic relations with Syria and maintain a relationship if Assad steps down from power.

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 11:50 AM

While the undertones of this article may insinuate something else, the worrying part of this is that typically before a conflict between two countries begins, diplomatic channels are usually severed and both countries will toss out and send home the representatives of each.

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Kim Jong-un secures unsurprising '100 per cent' victory in North Korea election

Kim Jong-un secures unsurprising '100 per cent' victory in North Korea election | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Every single vote cast on Sunday in Kim's constituency was for the man who can now add MP to his many titles
Seth Dixon's insight:

Is this what Woodrow Wilson envisioned when trying to "make the world safe for democracy?"  Somehow I don't think this was it. 

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 12:35 PM

Geographically, this shows to the world, whether true or not, that the North Korean regime can still keep its hold on power. Its more of a PR stunt to its neighbors(or rather, neighbor to the south) that they are still there and still willing to do whatever it takes to remain.

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Myanmar’s upcoming census could spark anti-Muslim violence

Myanmar’s upcoming census could spark anti-Muslim violence | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The poll is sorely needed by a nation that has no idea of its population size. But rights groups urge that it be suspended.
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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 15, 1:44 PM

Sometimes the illusion is better than the reality and as this article points out, it is unknown just what the populations are in Myanmar. Without knowing for sure who the minority or majority is, there can be a relative feeling of security. However, with the anti-muslim movement rising, more people could be swayed to join if they are convinced that they are threatened and outnumbered. On the positive side though, by getting accurate numbers of where people are and what they need, proper infrastructure can be built and invested in as well as protection services. As happened in India & Pakistan, if the true numbers were revealed of Muslim and Buddhist, it may cause a mass migration which could lead to a splitting of the country.

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Venezuela breaks ties with Panama

Venezuela breaks ties with Panama | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro, has broken diplomatic relations and frozen economic ties with Panama.  The decision comes after the Central American nation requested a meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss Venezuela's crisis.

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Al-Shabab 'retreat' in battle for town

Al-Shabab 'retreat' in battle for town | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Spokesman for African Union forces in Somalia says al-Qaeda-linked group was driven from Hudur, a statement it denies.
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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 15, 1:58 PM

It is difficult to know what is true considering that reporting out of this area can be quite inaccurate. Many times what is told to the media is an attempt at clever public relations to get into the mind of the enemy or garner support. However, with this being an African Union mission it is obvious that capturing and controlling this important region is important. Somalia is notorious for instability and rebel group activity. Considering this area is located close to both the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders, both countries have a vested interest in calming this area in order to keep further instability from spreading into their own already sensitive territories.

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Russia says it will build bridge to Crimea

Russia says it will build bridge to Crimea | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that Russia would press ahead with plans to build bridge linking Russia directly with Ukraine's Crimea region, which Moscow has wrested
Seth Dixon's insight:

This bridge had been discussed previously would now be a critical lifeline to Russia (depending on how serious Russia is about separating Crimea from Ukraine permanently). 


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Albert Jordan's curator insight, March 6, 10:46 AM

This makes sense considering the significant interests Russia has in the area. Without this bridge, Russia is required to either go over water, through the air, or through Ukraine to get to their military bases in the Crimean region. With the recent occupation of the Crimea, Russia's interest in this area is only more evident. Russia has a vested interest in not only the Crimean region but in all of Ukraine due to a large network of oil pipelines that feeds Europe its needs. While territorially, Russia may only be interested in the Crimean peninsula, politically they will have a major interest in keeping Ukraine close. Having this bridge link Russia proper to the Crimean allows for increased freedom of movement for Russian citizens as well as military or industrial goods. While a military confrontation between Russia and the West is hopefully unlikely, combined with the fact that it seems many in Ukraine were prefer to be a part of the EU, Russia will probably not absorb Ukraine into its sphere of influence but that does not mean Russia will not force the West into allowing it free reign to do as it pleases in the Crimea region. 

 

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10 Fastest Emerging Global Cities

10 Fastest Emerging Global Cities | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Cities in lower-income countries are rapidly catching up with the world's top business capitals, according to a new report.

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A giant art installation targets predator drone operators

A giant art installation targets predator drone operators | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as 'bug splats’, since viewing the body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed. To challenge this i...
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Tracey M Benson's curator insight, April 7, 2:22 PM

The installation is designed to be captured by satellites in order to make it a permanent part of the landscape on online mapping sites.

The project is a collaboration of artists who made use of the French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement. Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights helped launch the effort which has been released with the hashtag #NotABugSplat

Dean Haakenson's curator insight, April 10, 9:00 AM

Wow. Now that changes the perspective a bit...

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 9:56 AM

While it is important to use drone strikes to hit hard to reach targets, collateral damage is a real consequence of bombs and missiles no matter how "smart" they are. This is an ingenious way to get into the psyche of the drone operator. Enemy or not, these are human beings being killed and the side effect of these strikes is that sometimes innocents may be killed or wounded. Interestingly enough however, this can aid the enemy being targeted because when it comes to striking - timing is key and by making the operator think twice or making him or her doubt their ability, it almost a way of psychological warfare. 

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Market forces: the changing face of London’s Portobello Road

Market forces: the changing face of London’s Portobello Road | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Portobello Road in west London is home to one of the most famous antiques markets in the world. Every Friday and Saturday 100,000 visitors stroll past a mile-long strip of multicoloured Victorian terraces, attracted by the bohemian atmosphere and the shops and street stalls selling not just antiques, but fruit and vegetables, jewellery, bric-a-brac, vintage clothes and fabrics.

Yet, despite the fame and the footfall, many believe the market is under threat. Rising rents and falling takings have forced some local stalls and boutiques to close and make way for flagship stores from international brands such as Kurt Geiger and American Apparel, or tourist shops peddlling “I heart London” souvenirs.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Global and regional economic forces can have profound impact on local communities and restructure the cultural feel that has been around for generations. 

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Belarus Wants Out

Belarus Wants Out | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Belarus signed up early to join the Eurasian Union, but has started hedging its bets since Russia's annexation of Crimea -- and understandably so. According to Putin’s reasoning for seizing Crimea, Belarus could be the next target.


There is a bitter irony at the heart of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Putin’s short-term victory is already coming at the expense of his most cherished long-term strategy -- the creation of a Eurasian Union, a trade union linking Russia and its closest neighbors. In other words, as the invasion expands Russian territory, it will diminish Russian influence in the very places he’d like to increase it. One need only look to Belarus, which is already beginning to hedge against its alliance with Moscow, to see why.

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Chances of War Are Growing

Chances of War Are Growing | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"With Russia seizing the last remaining Ukrainian military
base in Crimea and massing troops along Ukraine's eastern border, a top Ukrainian official warned that the chances of war with Russia were growing higher."


The comments come amid growing concern that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin may try to follow his conquest and annexation of Crimea with a move into eastern Ukraine as well. The United States and its allies have warned Putin not to proceed into the region, but similar language -- and sanctions against members of the Russian president's inner circle -- failed to prevent him from absorbing Crimea. Moscow finished its takeover of the peninsula this weekend when it seized the final Ukrainian military base and evicted the last remaining troops.

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Saudi Arabia Takes on the Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Arabia Takes on the Muslim Brotherhood | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"On March 7, Saudi Arabia took the extraordinary step of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, on par with Hezbollah and al Qaeda.  The move came just two days after the kingdom, together with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, withdrew its ambassador from Qatar because of Qatar’s alleged support of Brotherhood interference in internal politics. Although Saudi Arabia’s dislike of Brotherhood political activities abroad is well known, for decades the kingdom has tolerated (and sometimes even worked with) the local Saudi branch of the Brotherhood. Its sudden reversal is an expression of solidarity with its politically vulnerable allies in the region and a warning to Sunni Islamists within its borders to tread carefully."

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 11:24 AM

It would make sense that Saudi Arabia would be concerned over the Muslim Brotherhood gaining traction in Egypt, considering the military actions Egypt is taking in the Sinai against the Brotherhood. If  the Muslim Brotherhood were to gain a foothold in that region, they would only have to hop over the Gulf of Aqaba to infiltrate Saudi Arabia; who has had an interesting relationship with them in the past. Just because there is no land border between the two countries does not mean that waterways can not be exploited.

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SEALed and Delivered in Libya

SEALed and Delivered in Libya | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
President Obama takes a big risk and scores a win for democracy -- and no one gives a damn.


President Obama pulled off a master stroke this week. He deployed U.S. military force in support of an infant democracy that desperately needs our help. The result was a resounding success, a vivid illustration of how the United States can put its unchallenged power to positive ends.

He did it, once again, by sending in the SEALs, the U.S. Navy's famous special forces. But this time they weren't double-tapping a terrorist. Instead they seized a mysterious tanker that had skipped out of Libya with a shipment of oil that one of the country's rogue militias was trying to sell on the open market. By doing it the SEALs foiled a potentially game-changing challenge to the authority of Libya's hard-pressed government -- one of the very few in the Arab world to have actually been elected by its own country's people.


The collective disinterest is appalling when you consider that the country we just helped is Libya. You remember, right -- the place where our ambassador was killed by terrorists two years ago?

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 12:06 PM

Thankfully no one was killed or wounded in this operation and while it may appear that no one took notice or cared, countries around the world were given notice; especially North Korea, that the U.S. can still project its interest effectively. Libya with its struggling democracy and infrastructure needs a strong ally to help ensure its growth into a strong and stable nation. Its neighbors, with their own instability would not mind a weakened Libya because it could mean that if Libya were to splinter into even weaker chunks, because then those pieces could be taken advantage of for their resources.

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How A Fight Over Natural Resources Is Quietly Driving The World’s Response To Ukraine

How A Fight Over Natural Resources Is Quietly Driving The World’s Response To Ukraine | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Control of resources and dependence on other countries is a central theme connecting the longstanding tension between Russia and Ukraine and potential actions taken by the rest of the world as the crisis escalates.
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How Qatar Lost the Middle East

How Qatar Lost the Middle East | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The oil-rich emirate once was heralded as the Arab world's rising power. Now, its neighbors are pressuring it to take a back seat role.


Qatar's perceived support of the Muslim Brotherhood has also not gone over well with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which view the organization as a subversive threat that could seek to overthrow the Gulf's ruling monarchies.  The Gulf states' diplomatic maneuver also tops a spectacular fall from grace for Qatar, which not long ago was hailed as an unlikely leading power in the Middle East. Over the last year, Qatar's allies have steadily lost ground: Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who could frequently be spotted in Doha's hotel lobbies sipping tea and meeting diplomats, were jailed. In the summer of 2013, Saudi Arabia also took a leadership role in the Syrian uprising, usurping Qatar's role as the primary financer and political backer of the opposition.

"Qatar took a step back with the Syrian opposition," says one Doha-based opposition member. "Politically, it is in the back seat -- or maybe not even in the car."

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 15, 1:10 PM

Qatar may have been heralded as a rising power but that does not mean its neighbors were supportive. As one rises, it replaces what is above it, thus causing what was once at the top to fall. Not to mention that Qatar continues to support proxy actors that may have ambitions opposite those of Qatar's neighbors. Riyadh and others more than likely would have a slight interest in seeing the small gulf nation brought down a few notches. Short of going to conventional warfare against each other, they may support opposing non state actors, enact economic policies, or other political maneuvers to ensure their interests are satisfied. Qatar does not have much land and it is unlikely that it will be able to take more by force, so by supporting allies in other locations - it can receive the bounty of the land by association but they are not the only ones trying to accomplish this. 

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Garry Kasparov: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They'll Dump Putin

Garry Kasparov: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They'll Dump Putin | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Garry Kasparov writes that the U.S. should target their assets abroad, their mansions and IPOs in London, their yachts. Use banks, not tanks.


For the second time in six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops across an internationally recognized border to occupy territory. This fact must be stated plainly before any discussion of motives or consequences. Russian troops have taken Crimea and they are not leaving, despite the Ukrainian government's protests. Five hundred kilometers southeast across the Black Sea, Russian soldiers still occupy parts of Georgia—South Ossetia and Abkhazia—where they have been since Mr. Putin's 2008 invasion and de facto annexation.

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Devolution and Balkanization

Devolution and Balkanization | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The 7 modern day countries that used to be Yugoslavia pic.twitter.com/jpvGlrH0Oh
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If you think Kansas is the flattest U.S. state, you’re plain wrong

If you think Kansas is the flattest U.S. state, you’re plain wrong | Regional Geography | Scoop.it

It’s time for some levelheaded talk about that ostensibly endless stretch of flatness some denigrate as “flyover country” and others respectfully call 'Kansas.' The alleged monotony of the Sunflower State’s terrain is referenced about as often as “The Wizard of Oz” when Kansas pops up into conversation.  “It’s truly engrained,” said Jerry Dobson, professor of geography at the University of Kansas. “Every Kansan hears again and again, when new visitors arrive, ‘I’m surprised. This place is not as flat as I expected.’


By any measure, Florida takes the prize for the flattest state in the nation becuase the highest point in the state is only 345 feet above sea level.  Then Illinois, North Dakota, Louisiana, Minnesota and Delaware follow. Kansas merely ranks seventh in flatness.

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