Unit 4 (Political Geography)
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Hotbed of Terrorism: Post-Gaddafi Libya is Becoming New Daesh Stronghold

Hotbed of Terrorism: Post-Gaddafi Libya is Becoming New Daesh Stronghold | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Due to negligent policies of Western countries Libya is on the verge of being engulfed by terrorism and becoming the new stronghold of Daesh (Islamic State), Olivier d’Auzon wrote for Le Huffington Post.

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At least 60 people charged with terrorism-linked crimes this year — a record

At least 60 people charged with terrorism-linked crimes this year — a record | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

Officials point to the threat from the Islamic State and the influence of social media as key factors.


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China passes controversial counter-terrorism law

China passes controversial counter-terrorism law | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

China's parliament has passed a controversial new anti-terrorism law that requires technology firms to hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the government and allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations.


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Immigration, border security, and terrorism driving interest in Integrated Biometrics technology

Immigration, border security, and terrorism driving interest in Integrated Biometrics technology | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

Events concerning immigration, border security and terrorism are driving interest in advanced mobile fingerprint scanner technology from Integrated Biometrics.


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Terrorism was biggest concern in Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia- Africa poll

Terrorism was biggest concern in Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia- Africa poll | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Terrorism has become a disruptive influence in parts of the continent.

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UAE declares full support for Saudi Arabia's measures against terrorism

UAE declares full support for Saudi Arabia's measures against terrorism | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
ABU DHABI, 2nd January 2016 (WAM) --- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's Foreign Minister, has declared the country's full, principled and unwavering support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in any deterrent measures it takes to counter extremism and terrorism.

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‘Iran and Egypt going to offset Saudi and US in Mid-East’ — RT

‘Iran and Egypt going to offset Saudi and US in Mid-East’ — RT | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is going to side with China and Iran to rebalance the region, Michael Hughes, foreign policy strategist at the Washington-based New World Strategies Coalition, told RT.....

The unspoken link here is Israel,” Hughes said, explaining that Egypt can leverage its relationship to put pressure on Israel to stop this loose talk about bombing Iran.
“Here’s the connection, for Morsi starts looking like a geopolitical genius. If he can pull this off, if he can make Israel to step back with the whole ‘bombing Iran’ thing – that would be pretty amazing,” Michael Hughes said.
“After all, if Egypt finds Iran as a partner they don’t have to rely on the US or Israel, and they can offset and counterbalance the Gulf monarchies,” Hughes explained, saying that the Muslim Brotherhood that Morsi represents has a lot of problems with Saudi Arabia.
“It’s an interesting dynamic. Even though the Muslim Brotherhood are Sunni – and Iran is Shia – they have a lot in common against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


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How the U.S. Maps the World's Most Disputed Territories

How the U.S. Maps the World's Most Disputed Territories | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

When the United States decides to recognize a new government, or an existing country changes its name, Leo Dillon and his team at the State Department spring into action.

Dillon heads the Geographical Information Unit, which is responsible for ensuring the boundaries and names on government maps reflect U.S. policy. The team also keeps an eye on border skirmishes and territorial disputes throughout the world and makes maps that are used in negotiating treaties and truces. 

Dillon’s been at the State Department since 1986, and he says his job remains as fun as ever. “The landscape of political geography is constantly changing,” he said. “Every day I come in here and there’s something new.” We spoke with Dillon to learn more about it...


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Political Geography: Borders

Political Geography: Borders | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
The American-Canadian border, famously said to run straight across the 49th parallel for hundreds of miles, is neither straight nor along the 49th parallel.

 

This is a good historical way to discuss the stages of border creation, especially demarcation and delimitation.  The history of where to place a border, as the border itself, is not so straight forward.   


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What People Know: Some Finnish Comfort

What People Know: Some Finnish Comfort | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

I'd suck at a Finnish political knowledge test myself. Or Finnish geography test. Or, well, anything about Finland, because...


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Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

Tags: borders, political, conflict, infographic, map.


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Asie(s)'s curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:23 PM

A good overview on the matter!

Kevin Barker's curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:20 AM

A great primer for discussions over border disputes.  In this modern geopolitical climate, some of these claims can seem aggressive to say the least.  The strategies/responses can also be very interesting when military options are put aside.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:36 PM

I was looking at the disputes between the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal. What I notices with all oft he disputes, the land being fought over is all claimed by China but the land location itself is all closer to the country china is disputing it over. For the Paracel Islands, China and Vietnam are in dispute especially after China put 2 oil rigs by their land. The other dispute between the Spratly Islands, China and the Philippines each claim entire ownership of the lands but Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei all claim some part of the islands as well. For the Scarborough Shoal, it is a lot closer to the Philippines than it is to China but China claims it as their own since they discovered the land. Now china has restricted access to the island following a standoff.    

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In Burma (Myanmar), China's Scramble for Energy Threatens Livelihoods of Villagers

In Burma (Myanmar), China's Scramble for Energy Threatens Livelihoods of Villagers | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
In western Myanmar a Chinese-backed energy and trading hub is taking shape on a remote island.

 

Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, energy.


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Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 14, 2015 1:16 PM

While reading this article I found it quite shocking to see that Myanmar is scrambling for energy, such as selling oil, this money is used in lanterns as a cheaper alternative to kerosene. People will do anything just to receive money and use it to help out their families. Money is not something easily  accessible and neither is energy.Yet, even though Myanmar is struggling right now, places such as Beijing still see Myanmar and Ramree Island as the main way to have safe and fast trade. 

The article also states that there are promising signs to China, and Southeast Asia to come back into the picture such as they are likely to have development that will focus on manufacturing in textiles and construction materials to help the country to gain power and energy back. 

The photographs in this article give for a good example of how China is striving for energy such as the women holding up the teapot that is considered to be a lamp with the use of oil. People in China are working hard and using different resources to serve as energy. Shouldn't people even out of China use up what they have and not be wasteful? 

Places in Southeast Asia can think of ways to gain energy, power and comfort because their whole motto on life is different than that of the United States of America.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:05 PM

this is where china grows at the expense of others. How are these people going to fight back? China is forced to do this because it wants to be the strongest nation in the world and as long as they are importing oil it relies on someone that can cut them off. And as long as they now are allowing the birth of two children the population growth in china is forcing china to expand and will do whatever means necessary to do so.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:28 AM

An interesting article that highlights important geographic disparities. The problem for Burma is that it has lagged behind in the world from its isolation. As a result when globalization such as the proposed trade zone in the article come about there is disastrous consequences. Unlike the west they are catching up and didn't have an adjusting period. Furthermore in China's race to keep its economy superior and out due America they have been going on wild spending sprees such as this deal to give them a global edge. Unfortunately this will leave many of the poor in Burma worse off than before. Plus their government will not likely help them because of their oppressive nature. Maybe all of this will create of revolution to give the Burmese freedom so that they can make these decisions for themselves as they enter the global community(also so they are not exploited as companies everywhere will likely be looking at its cheap labor and resources).

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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1. 
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."


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Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:40 PM

After viewing this video, I found one common characteristic that ties together the countries involved in all of these border disputes: hunger for power. Although culture and sacred lands do cause border disputes, I believe the underlying purpose of claiming land for cultural reasons is to demonstrate power. Claiming lands for cultural purposes demonstrates that one's culture is superior to the other's culture, so naturally the more powerful culture gets to claim territory. On another note, I think it's interesting to see just how many enclaves and exclaves exist in the world. I did not know how many existed until I saw the video. I think this shows how insignificant these border anomalies are because these exclaves are usually just governed by the other country by which they are surrounded. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

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Islamic Terrorism: Why There Is None in Japan

Islamic Terrorism: Why There Is None in Japan | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
What Japan did to avoid problems related to Muslims was much simpler and cheaper; Japan is practically closed to Muslims.

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Who are the State Sponsors of Terrorism? "Terrorism Is the Outcome of Generous Support by Countries Like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Terrorist Organizations. Syrian Foreign Ministry

Who are the State Sponsors of Terrorism? "Terrorism Is the Outcome of Generous Support by Countries Like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Terrorist Organizations. Syrian Foreign Ministry | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Monday sent two letters to the UN Secretary-General and President of UN Security Council regarding the persistence of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations in committing crimes against civilians in Syrian cities.

The Ministry said that terrorist organizations are targeting Syrian cities with suicide bombing and arbitrary shelling in a bid to disturb the state of tranquility and stability which had prevailed in several Syrian cities that witnessed successful national reconciliation efforts in recent days.

The letters asserted that this terrorism is the result of the open and generous support in funds, arms, and munitions provided to terrorists by states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, who are complicit in the terrorist attacks carried out against the Syrian people.

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Two countries had no idea they were in Saudi Arabia's Muslim coalition to fight terrorism

Two countries had no idea they were in Saudi Arabia's Muslim coalition to fight terrorism | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
While Pakistan reaffirmed its position of non-involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts, Lebanon said it was also equally baffled. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia announced a new 34-country coalition of Muslim nations to fight terrorism.

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'Overseas funds' fuelling terrorism in Indonesia

'Overseas funds' fuelling terrorism in Indonesia | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Overseas fund transfers into Indonesia allegedly linked to terrorism last year and this year amounted to well over 10 billion rupiah (S$1 million), of which about six billion rupiah was from Australia, said Mr Agus Santoso, deputy head of PPATK, which is Indonesia's anti-money-laundering agency.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

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It’s the “clock kid” all over again: A 12-year-old Sikh boy is the latest victim of racist terrorism paranoia

It’s the “clock kid” all over again: A 12-year-old Sikh boy is the latest victim of racist terrorism paranoia | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
In Dallas, Armaan Singh Sarai spent 3 days in juvenile detention after a classmate said his backpack held a bomb

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Kenneth Weene's curator insight, December 19, 2015 9:39 AM

When this kid is cleared, and it sounds like that should happen quite easily, what should be done with the bully? The school authorities who acted without any consideration of reality? The police who acted without any investigation? The authorities who did not reveal the boy's whereabouts to his parents? I have no simple answers but I do know this is beyond wrong and once again from our friends in Texas. What is wrong with a country in which such anger and destructiveness lies so close to the surface. Am I the only one who weeps for America?

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Resource Geopolitics: Cold War Technologies, Global Fertilizers, and the Fate of Western Sahara

Resource Geopolitics: Cold War Technologies, Global Fertilizers, and the Fate of Western Sahara | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it

When, after years of geological and geophysical exploration, a phosphate mine was discovered at Bu-Craa in 1964, Western Sahara received renewed geopolitical attention. Several countries competing for the control of the world fertilizer market, including Morocco, Spain, France, and the United States, developed diverging strategies to gain control of the mineral. After intense negotiations revolving around the materiality of mining technologies and involving reserve estimations, sabotage, and flexing of diplomatic muscles, Morocco took over the Spanish colony in 1975. While this secured Morocco’s place in the world market, it condemned the local population to exile and domination. This article explores three technological stages of the exploitation of phosphate in Western Sahara that underpin the geopolitical history. This perspective yields new visions of cold war technology and postcolonial markets. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



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Rising India is vital to allied hopes to deter China

Rising India is vital to allied hopes to deter China | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
With Australia firmly in the geopolitical mix, no one is publicly talking about China and containment, but all strategies are going in that direction.

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The Political Geography of Gasoline Prices

The Political Geography of Gasoline Prices | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Rising gas prices make people unhappy, but the pain is felt most acutely in states where it is unlikely to make an electoral difference.

 

There are numerous geographic themes that make this article a worthwhile read.  The evidence suggests that states the vote more solidly Republican are being hit hardest at the pump.  Gasoline expenditures as a share of personal income are higher in pro-Republican states than pro-Democrat states.  Understanding the demographic base of each party as well as population density explains much of this issue: states that are very rural drive greater distances with less public transit option, spending more per capita on gasoline.  Also, since the most affluent urban centers are Democrat-leaning, they spend a less sizeable portion of their income on gasoline.  This article would be a nice resource for a classroom/small group discussion.  


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Siobhan Chantigian's curator insight, April 23, 2014 11:39 PM

This is an interesting article about how rising gas prices and how people are going to vote.  

Annie Christofferson's comment, April 27, 2014 6:06 PM
I thought this it was interesting how it said that the states that it really makes a difference in are the ones that don't have as big an impact on the electoral college. It doesn't seem quite fair.
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Palestine is but one of many aspiring to the United Nations

Palestine is but one of many aspiring to the United Nations | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Admission to the General Assembly of the UN is not open to all. The Palestinian Territories are just one of several regions without a seat at the world's top table.

 

Palestine's bid for statehood and international recognition is making the political geography definition for state all the more relevant?  What is a state and what is not?  What function does UN membership play in the process of statehood and sovereignty?


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Kendra King's curator insight, May 3, 2015 2:19 AM

In order to be recognized as a sovereign entity from the UN the country must have the full vote of the UN acknowledging that the state exists. However, given the set up of the security counsel, that makes becoming a state really hard. Currently, China & Russia oppose Europe and the United States' desires and vice versa. As the article shows, the  countries seeking statehood outside of Palestinian all seem to have one member of the team on board, but not the other. As such, I don't foresee recognition in the future anytime soon.

 

The whole limbo status, is astonishing to be. I find it weird that a place, like Palestine, can have a flag and a national language, and many other elements of most countries, but not be a country as the article mentioned. From this angel, it amperes international acceptance is the most important factor. This made me wonder, even if the security counsel did have similar interests would accepting any of the nations in would be a good idea? Many of the countries that want to be admitted are from the former soviet union block, which as mentioned in class is often shattering among ethnic groups. However, due to all of the different ethnicity and people within the region, how many smaller countries should be carved out when these were accepted? Also, at what point does this just create further instability?

 

As much as I don't agree with the UN security counsel excluding the voices of the developing world, the current set up does block hastily adding new countries to the world. Given the present too many new nations could set in unstable regions, this might be better for the world. Or I could be wrong because skirmishes could continue until someone recognizes a party. Since I don't want to keep play the what if game, I am just going to end by saying that if the security counsel is ever change, the geopolitical consequences would need to be analyzed heavily. This situation alone is case and point.     

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Russia and the Curse of Geography

Russia and the Curse of Geography | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Want to understand why Putin does what he does? Look at a map.

 

As things stand, Putin, like Russian leaders before him, likely feels he has no choice but to at least try to control the flatlands to Russia’s west. So it is with landscapes around the world—their physical features imprison political leaders, constraining their choices and room for maneuver. These rules of geography are especially clear in Russia, where power is hard to defend, and where for centuries leaders have compensated by pushing outward.


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Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 9:41 AM

The majority of politicians around the world, from what I've seen through debates and rallies are fabricated speeches by politicians for the outcome of gaining more votes. I personally don't trust any politician. When it comes to power, politicians will do what ever it takes to use their power and make it stronger. Of course each politician wants their community and their country to be successful and grand. In this post it looks like Putin wants to control lands in Russia's west because he see's potential and possibilities for his country.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:11 PM

This reminds me of the reason Russia fought Afganistan because it wanted to expand its borders especially if Russia could get control of the Wakhan corridor

Diana Morey's curator insight, February 11, 9:24 AM

good reading for political geography

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Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
What if the Black Plague had killed off almost all Europeans? Then the Reconquista never happens. Spain and Portugal don't kickstart Europe's colonization of other continents. And this is what Africa might have looked like.

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, historical, map.


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 26, 2015 2:26 PM

An interesting fact for a geographer/historian to look at is how different events happening in history can affect a map.  This is very fascinating, because Africa or should I say Alkebu-Lan has very strong looking kingdoms without the Influence of Europe.  Another interesting element of the map is how it is not Euro-centric, Africa is shown as the top of the world.  I guess in this history, Northern Europe instead of being a powerhouse of the world, would be classified as the dark region (like the Congo was in our own world).  It is also interesting how the map is not Euro-centric, but the fact to keep in mind there is the old saying, history is written by the winner.  In this case, the map of the world was drawn by the winning Europeans as well, and this map completely reverses that.  Another interesting fact, is that the Iberian is part of an Islamic Empire.  It looks, as if in this history, Portugal was overcome by the "Arabes" and Spain never even attempted to launch the Reconquista.  History and Geography, especially Political Geography are very closely linked with one another.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 5:00 PM

I found this particularly interesting to read about, as alternative histories fascinate me. The "what if" questions that historians always ask themselves are fun to examine and illustrate, as they are shown in the alternative map of Africa. It's interesting to see just how different this map- drawn from historical accounts of ethnic and linguistic differences between the various African societies- is from the map of Africa we now have today. European colonizers drew borders without any consideration for the native populace, and that is today reflected in the rigid borders of African states that do not match historical ethnic boundaries. The concept of a Europe unable to recover from the Black Death would have serious repercussions for world history. It would allow for the progression of African economies and polities unmolested by European influences and the slave trade, completely reshaping the course of the continent's history. The increased influence of the Arab world would also be a plausible consequence of the decimation of Europe's population. This is an interesting concept, and it is very informative in the sense that it forces us to consider a multitude of factors that played a role in shaping the world as we see and live it today.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:04 AM

Alternative history is always fun. There is no question that Africa would be a different place today, if Europeans had never step foot on the shores of this great continent. Would the great African empires still be alive today? Would Africa be the dominant continent in world affairs? The history of civilization over the past 500 years would almost certainly be radically different. Instead of a Eurocentric world, we may have had an Afrocentric world. What this map really underscores, is the effect that colonialism had on Africa. The Africa we know today is a consequence of that era of European domination. While alternate history is fun, we must always remember the actual history that has occurred in Africa.

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7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014

7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014 | Unit 4 (Political Geography) | Scoop.it
Sadly, there was plenty of mayhem and violence that didn't make newspaper frontpages. Here are some awful conflicts that merited more attention.

 

Tags: conflict,  Libya, Yemen, Assam (India), the Sudans, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya. 


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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:14 PM

Current events, course resource, could be applied to just about every unit!

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:36 PM

This article struck me because of certain topics overshadowing really important ones. This talks about seven horrible conflicts and tragedies that have occurred that went unreported. These issues needed attention and media this day in age is focuses on unnecessary issues rather than discussing issues like these. One of the conflicts was in Pakistan. They experienced a terrorist attack on a school by the Taliban and many children were slaughtered and many of those children were the kids of military personnel. This has been an ongoing conflict and has even had numerous airstrikes involved. This terrorist outbreak has caused more problems and the fighting still continues. A second conflict is in Assam, India. This conflict has been a clash of between ethic groups. This conflict has gotten so bad, numerous people have left their homes and people have been massacred causing it to become a terrorist operation. Conflicts like these need our intention and there are way too many cases like this going unnoticed. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:05 PM

It is sad to see the state of Libya following the optimism that surrounded its revolution and the toppling of the dictatorship that had ran the nation for decades. Despite the high hopes of the West and the Libyans themselves, the nation has devolved into civil war between the coalition government and an alliance of former rebel groups and militant Islamic extremists. Violence has gripped the nation ever since, a sad story of an incomplete revolution that occurred without a plan set for the future. One must only look at the Benghazi attack to not that the hopes of the US to secure another ally in the region have turned out to be entirely unfounded, as the people remain divided. The lack of coverage of this story in Western media suggests that the story is perhaps too depressing for American audiences, or that the major news networks don't want to dwell on another failure of the US in its involvement in the region. I hope that the violence ceases soon, as there has been far too much bloodshed already for the Libyan people.