A woman was brutally stabbed to death by her own brother for daring to leave her house alone, police in Jordan said.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
Honor killings are found across the Middle East and South Asia, and they have been showing up in the news lately. They illustrate how difficult it is to be a woman in many of these countries because women can be harshly punished for anything they have done wrong or they can be punished for any wrong that is done to them. They can be killed by their own family members just trying to cleanse their family name from the woman's wrong-doing. Women in these areas have to be very careful of where they go and what they do and it is sometimes difficult for them to live.
Here's how much coffee, meat, beer, McDonald's, and more you can buy for $5 in countries around the world. For starters, you can buy a lot of beer for $5 in ... (Food $5 buys around the world.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
It's interesting to see what you can do with $5 around the world. The person who made this video made it very easy to see the comparisons between the countries. This video also shows how much different foods cost in different regions. For example, Europe had the highest prices, the US was usually somewhere in the middle, then it was usually countries in the Middle East and Asia, and finally Africa usually had the cheapest prices. It's an interesting way to compare the regions and countries of the world.
At least one person is dead and ten are injured after mobs of angry Buddhists burned hundreds of homes.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
This illustrates how the conflicts that arise from different ethnic groups and different religions occupying the same areas are international problems. There are some countries that are able to thrive peacefully with various ethnic groups, but there are many that cannot. Myanmar, as of right now, cannot. People are using violence to try to scare other religions and other sects of the same religion into submission or even into leaving the country. In this case, the Buddhists are trying to get rid of the Muslims. A part of the problem is that in many cases the country does not see the Muslims as citizens of Myanmar but as illegal immigrants. Therefore, they are not doing enough to stop the violence. Problems like these, when left unattended, can only escalate and lead to civil war as people try to protect themselves and their beliefs.
The video is also powerful as these people try to rebuild their lives after being attacked and try to put out the fire. Also, if you watch closely, you see men putting out the fires with buckets of water, not with hoses and firetrucks, illustrating the poverty in this rural area. These people are afraid that they will get hurt during one of these attacks, and the ultimate question is how much will they take before they try to retaliate in order to protect their children.
Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.
Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding. Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise. So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important? How is the local deeply global? How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?
It's nice to see that people are trying to save these forests and are experiencing some success. Deforestation has many bad consequences including flooding, an increase in carbon emissions, and a decrease in biodiversity. People everywhere need to learn that even though we can gain some money by using the land for something other than forest, it is more beneficial to leave the forest because it not only saves the environment, forests also directly helps humans because of the health and safety benefits. There are a lot of people around the world trying to save the forests, but sadly it is not an easy task.
Japan said eight Chinese government ships had entered waters around a group of islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between the two nations
Emma Lafleur's insight:
This may become a larger problem if China and Japan do not negotiate or talk about these problems. Both claim these uninhabited islands and neither want to give them up. The two countries are already planning cat and mouse games with their ships and both are willing to fight for the islands. If the two countries do not resolve their problem, this could have international repercussions as many countries trade with both Japan and China and no one wants to see China and Japan going to war. They need to negotiate and figure out who owns what before some violence breaks out between the ships that are patrolling the islands.
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?
Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world. We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all. Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons. Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia. Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.
It is very sad to see that so many people associate all Muslims with terrorist groups. They know that 9/11 was done by people who were Muslims but they choose to ignore that they were radical. They choose to ignore that there are radicals in all religions, not just in Islam. These Muslims are Americans too, and it is sad that they should be afraid for their lives after these attacks because of the assumptions that other people will make about them. They are stereotyped as dangerous, when they are not violent. I am only glad to see their strength as they try to stay strong through these attacks on their religion, and I hope that they're stories here will promote understanding and will make people want to learn more about their religion so that these stereotypes can go away.
"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."
A sad but also inspiring story and an enlightening video. I see a lot of people who assume that the North Korean government and the people are one and the same, and that is not the case. It is important to realise the harsh conditions of people living in North Korea to fully understand what is happening in that part of the world. It is hard for people to leave their country and their home, but as Hyeonseo Lee explains, sometimes there is no choice.
"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."
Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.
This article touches base on a couple of topics. First, it illustrates how the one-child policy affected China. Culturally, China had a preference for boys, so the one-child policy created a great gender imbalance. There are more men than women in China, this means that not all men can get married in China because there are not enough women. Also, women now have an upper-hand because they can ask for money, a car, and an appartment from their future husbands before getting married because there are so few women, and men now have to work their whole lives to save of the money for these bride prices. This brings up a second topic. Since the men have to work harder to save money, they help China's economy. The economy is already getting better there, but these bride prices are making the economy rise faster. Therefore, the one child policy had both negative and positive effects on China, and some couples now want daughters instead of sons because they are less expensive. Economically, there is now a preference for girls. This could be a good model for the effects of trying to control population growth.
Indigenous groups claim they have not consented to oil projects, as politicians visit Beijing to publicise bidding process
Emma Lafleur's insight:
Along with the last article I posted about Chico Mendes, this article portrays how Brazil is not the only country with a problem with deforestation and killing the ways of life of the indigenous people. This is a problem across the Amazon River and the rainforest. Ecuador is selling some of their land to foreign countries for oil projects. This makes the problems larger because if Ecuador does not care about these people, there is no way that a foreign country will. Ecuador is going to kill their Amazon rainforest, their natural wonder, and put their indigenous peoples in a tough situation for oil. There are a lot of countries bidding for the land, but it seems that China will most likely get the land because they are aggressive and Ecuador would not mind if China got the land because they owe money to China. With hard economic times worldwide, and countries needing money, a lot of local people around the world, and not just in the Amazon, are finding that they are the ones that get the short end of the stick, and the environment suffers as they do as well.
An inspiring video of using the "trash" in the landfills of these slums to make life just a little bit better. They have recycled the trash around them to create musical instruments that they then use in music classes that make school and life for the kids a lot better. They are learning to play the violin even though a violin is worth more than their home. It is inspiring to see, and it is interesting to realize how much music has changed these people's lives while many music programs in the US are in danger of getting cut. A great video to watch and to see how an oil barrel with a couple of pieces of wood and some string can sound exactly like a cello!
Times are changing in India, the country is becoming more western and adopting more western ideals, but change does not come all at once. In cities women are becoming educated and getting good jobs, but just outside there are still traditional rural areas. In these areas, women stay inside and sometimes cover their faces, and are obedient to the men around them. In the city, women go out at night and are more independent. This leads to problems because men of these villages will abuse and rape these independent women and will feel justified in their actions because there is no reason for a woman to be out unless they are a prostitute. Women try to gain independence and freedom, but are in danger because those around them still believe that they have no right and do not belong in the city, working.
Also, these rape crimes go unpunished many times because rape in India makes a woman unpure and she becomes victimized and some women commit suicide after rape because of the stress that comes from the rape itself and from the society's view of her as a rape victim.
Rape is a growing problem all over the world, with people disagreeing on the fundamental question of what qualifies as rape. However, in India it is a large problem because there are almost two societies because the country is changing and women do not know how to live in both societies, they can either have all of the freedom and independence, or none of it. They are gaining their self-independence and will soon get all of it, but some people are still trying to hold them back.
"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements. The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics." This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).
Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.
Myanmar's Educators Reach Out to the World New York Times One important question is how the university is going to forge links with the outside world.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
It is really nice to see how education is valued and it is interesting to see how it is built. After years of not being able to have college classes because of student protests, Myanmar is reopening one of their largest universities, and are asking for help from outside countries. Myanmar lacks the supplies it needs for effective classes and effective teaching so they need help from different colleges around the world so they can give their students a good and useful education. Countries around the world, including the US, are sending money, guest lecturers, and are helping train teachers to help Myanmar because they know that one of the keys to the development of Myanmar and any country is a good education system. Therefore, by helping Myanmar build their university, these countries are helping them develop.
"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B. Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."
It's really cool how these dogs can figure out how to survive in these urban areas on their own. Dogs are so connected to humans already, but learning how to do things like this is really interesting and really cool.
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.
Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others. The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects.
It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.
In his first weeks as leader of the world's most populous nation, China's new President Xi Jinping has made frequent reference to an emergent "Chinese Dream," emphasizing prosperity, happiness, and a revitalized national ethos.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
As China is developing more and more, many people are moving there indefinitely. China has started its own green card program and people are starting to move to China and create a new life there. Throughout history, China has adopted some of the culture from other countries and nations and have incorporated these things into their society to create their own success. However, as people are now immigrating to China, the question is will the Chinese people fully accept them and completely allow them into their culture and society. It takes time, but the immigrants can learn the language and assimilate into the society, but many Chinese do not want the immigrants to adopt China's traditional culture as it is not a piece of the immigrants' history. However, the immigrants also help in developing China as they start companies and jobs, and it does seem that these people can become a part of the Chinese society, but it will take a long time for them to fully be a part of the culture,
Students at Wilcox County High School in Georgia bucked 40 years of tradition by hosting their own racially integrated prom.
Emma Lafleur's insight:
It was surprising to read this article and see that there was still such segregation in this country. However, this article shows how even though laws can change quickly people's attitudes and culture can change much more slowly. This is a part of the reason why people have a problem with gay marriage, it is something that has been banned for so long that people do not understand why it shouldn't still be banned. As always, some people are for these changes and some are against them. However, these fights go on long after the laws have changed, with this segregation it was more than 40 years before someone spoke out against the segregation. Finally, it is the new generations that make the change as they grow up in a society with their friends who come from different backgrounds and make everything seem okay so that they are willing to change.
A railroad in South East Asia will be great for China so that it can increase its trade with the countries surrounding it instead of countries that are across seas and continents. However, China will get all of the benefits of this railroad while the smaller countries, such as Laos, will bear the costs. Laos cannot afford to build this railroad, but they know that China will find a way. Laos wants the railroad so that people will go to the country and maybe the railroad can provide some tourism, although it will not be enough to sustain the economy, but the railroad is too expensive. Laos is very rural and weak and they fear that China may make them a part of China. I wonder if Laos will gain any benefits from this railroad at all, or if it will only hurt their already suffering economy.
Japan's geography has directly affected its foreign policy. Its history has also shows Japan's geopgraphic challenges because Japan doesn't have enough resources to sustain its people and therefore needs to expand, and throughout history they have used force and the military to gain the resources they need while they now use trade. This is a good video that summarizes why Japan has done the things it has done and the challenges they face.
Hong Kong has a mix of Chinese heritage and culture and British ideals. They lived under the British rule for so long that they grew accustomed to the British government system and freedoms. When the UK handed Hong Kong over to China, the people of Hong Kong were afraid that the Chinese government would step in and put them under the same system as the rest of China. China decided to allow Hong Kong to have its own system, but Hong Kong still fears China stepping in and forcing them to change and conform to the rules of the rest of China. Hong Kong is now seeing some protesting and some tension from its people about becoming truly Chinese. They do not want to be Chinese, and they do not want to be British either. They want to form their own country. However, it is highly unlikely that China will let Hong Kong go, but I do wonder if the ideals of Hong Kong, like elections, will slowly spread to the rest of China and create tensions that will cause a change in the Chinese government altogether.
David Hill: This week's trial of men accused of killing two activists in 2011 highlights the continuing problems faced in the Amazon
Emma Lafleur's insight:
It has been a quarter of a century since Chico Mendes brought worldwide attention to the problems of the Amazon. However, after his death had left the news, the problems proceeded. Many local and indigenous peoples are still losing their lifestyle to ranchers and loggers. Many people are also still being killed for getting in the way of the ranchers and the loggers. The governments of these countries need money now, so they jeopardize the local and sustainable economies for their money making ways which kills the forest and the local peoples. They do not see the value in the economies of the local people because their business does not seem to help the government, however without the forest, there are more and more people who live in poverty and need the government for support. Governments are killing the sustainable ways of life in order to get money more quickly in less sustainable ways.
This is a great article that explains how America's location affects American's worldview. As it states in the article, America's neighbors are Canada and Mexico, niether of which are hostile towards us, and fish. Therefore, the US had a lot of room to grow and have its system of compromise. This then translates to our foreign policy where we try to make compromises around the world but the world do not have the same benefit that we do. Even though we have been attacked, we are too far away to be affected in such a way that would tear the country apart. We are safe when compared to the rest of the world because of our location, and that security affects how we react with the rest of the world.
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