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Rescooped by Al Picozzi from Geography Education
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India and Pakistan Reunited

"It’s rare that a video from a brand will spark any real emotion--but a new spot from Google India is so powerful, and so honest to the product, that it’s a testament not only to the deft touch of the ad team that put it together, but to the strength of Google’s current offering."--Forbes


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

The use of this commerical to promote a reunification is a great idea.  It starts as a small step and then ideas just grow.  As this gets more play in India, the idea spreads and in a country of over 1 billion when it spreads...it spreads.  Reminds me of Berlin. A city so long ago split and then reunited in 1989 with the physical wall mainly coming down in 1990 and then Germany reuniting in 1990.  It started small over time, 30 years or so.  Now I know India and Pakistan were split in 1947 and Germany effectively in 1945 witht he wall coming up in 1961.  This is a bit different I know, the division is mainly on religious differences, however it usually takes small actions for things to get started.  Will a reunifiction happenin my lifetime, no, in my kids....maybe.  Is this commerical for Google that one small step?

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MA Sansonetti-Wood's curator insight, January 26, 2016 9:29 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

True, this is a commercial--but what a great commercial to show that the history of of a geopolitical conflict has many casualties including friendships across lines.  This isn't the only commercial in India that is raising eyebrows.  This one from a jewelry company is proudly showing a divorced woman remarrying--something unthinkable for Indian TV one generation ago. 


Questions to Ponder: How does the Indian media reflect the values and beliefs of Indian culture?  How does the Indian media shape Indian culture?

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 6:44 PM
This emotional video only makes sense to those who have the political context, however, its story is one that is not uncommon in the region. The video depicts and old man and his granddaughter discussing his life before he and his family moved after the partition. It shows his granddaughter using google to send his a surprise for his birthday. 
Christina Caruso's curator insight, April 27, 6:43 PM
This video shows a granddaughter in India with her grandfather and he shows her a picture of his childhood best friend and what they use to do as kids but then he tells her how a gate got put up and his friend lived in Pakistan and he lived in India. The granddaughter calls a bakery and finds his friend and his son or grandson books a flight to India and the two friends reunite. This video is very heartwarming.  
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Argentina renews Falklands claims

Argentina renews Falklands claims | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner renews her claims for sovereignty of the Falklands at a UN Security Council meeting.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Im old enough to remember this conflict when Thatcher sent the British to retake the islands.  Both sides are claiming the islands for themselves.  Seems they were uninhabited when discovered by the French and then it was British, Spanish, French, Argentinan, and British again in 1833 until the militray invasion by Agrentina in 1982 and the retaking of the island by the British that same year.  Claims on both sides seem legitimate, but I find it most telling that the people now living there want to be part of Great Britian, not Argentina.  The people of mainland Argentina might want the islands, economic reasons and for the EEZ, but the people actully living on the island do not.  Another thing I do remember, the US was not with Great Britian at thie time in an unusual split between long term and stanuch allies

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:10 PM

I think that countries trying to unite and make claims is sort of like going to a bad college party in a station wagon with people that you might not like, don't like you, and are not like you... At least in the case of the USA.  As for Argentina, well I hope they're not as ravishly divided as the united of the constituents of America.  I don't really have anything good to say about this country... I have been physically and psychologically abused by police, damaged and violated by medical establishments, and I'm really sick of other people acting like they have the god-given right or my permission to treat me less than pleasantly.  How does this relate to Argentina requesting sovereignty? Well, I relate my personal experience to their situation in that they might be better off sovereign than being operated on by deranged fugitive doctors or beaten up by cops in bad relationships... so to speak.  For a lack of sovereignity would pose negative things that might befall their people.  I think that there is a greater chance for greater things to happen to them if they do it alone, rather than being told what to do, or being thought through and puppetted by other countries!

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 2015 12:59 PM

Often times, the thoughts of the Days of Empire are long gone. Most people see World War I as the boiling over of competition for colonies. As Europe gave most of their colonies up in the mid-20th century, some of them still stayed in their colonists' hands. The Falklands are that shining example of the UK's Empire days and it's understandable why they would want to hold on to them. Not only are they a decent naval base for operations in the Americas and along the Atlantic, they remind Great Britain that she was (and one could argue still is) a world power on the sea and land. No country wants to give away land voluntarily. Argentina sees these islands as her's and wants them back while the United Kingdom still holds claim. The UK also has the backing of the inhabitants when a referendum was held. Only three of the residents on the Falklands voted to split from its over seas ruler. What do you do when a country right off your shores demands your home back while a country thousands of miles away wants to keep you? It was a recipe for disaster in the 80's and still proves to be a point of tension in the 21st century.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:10 AM

The controversy of the Falklands continues. You would think that someone would have proposed viable solution to this issue by now. The Falklands war back in the 1980's remains one of my favorite skirmishes in history. The whole issue is throwback to the colonial era when the sun never set on the British Empire. In the years following the Second World War, the Empire collapsed. Today there is virtually nothing left of that once great empire. Great Britain should let one of its last vestiges of Empire go. There is no need for the British government to administer an Island in South America. The days of imperialism and colonialism have long since passed.

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South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government

South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

July 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a presidential decree removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny, and dissolved the whole government.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Here is a living example of how hard it is to start a new country.  Imagine what our founding fathers int he US was doing back in 1783 when they were trying something new, with not much to look to in the past as an example.  Even with all the history since then, and all the examples of how to for a working governemt, startnig a new country in the area of the world that was once controlled by imperialists and warlords is not going to be an easy task by no stretch of the imagination.  We can only hope for the best for these people.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:37 AM

Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself.  Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:59 PM

It is very difficult for a country this young to be politically and economically stable. The president must have a difficult time earning the peoples respect when the country is struggling.  Removing the vice president only upset some locals as they felt he showed signs of a dictator.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:56 PM

He wants to get rid of the entire political cabinet. Who does he think he is, Superman? There is no way this president can take on a whole nation by himself. He needs to reconsider his actions and think about South Sudan and its needs.

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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Seems that water, not oil, might be the cheif source of conflict in North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa in general in the near future.  Water, like food, is the most basic resource we need to survive.  If that is cut off people as well as nations are more likely to go war over water, since we know they will over oil.  The climate change is more than just rising water on coast lines, it effects the water supply of nations and regions that have issues getting fresh water even without the climate change.  Seems we have to solve the water problem, as well as the oil problem now.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Choices Program--Scholars Online

Choices Program--Scholars Online | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

Scholars Online Videos feature top scholars answering a specific question in his or her field of expertise. These brief and informative videos are designed to supplement the Choices Program curricula.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

If you take a look back at history, the only people to ever sucessfully conquer Afghanistan were the Mongols.  The rugged, mountainous terrain made this plac hard to live in and hard to control.  The Mongols were a very mobile people and were able to control the area by aslo being very tolerant of the natives.  Eventually it bacame hard to notice the difference between a Mongol and a native Afghan, they assimilated the Mongols. 

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 7:15 AM

Afghanistan's current borders are the result of political maneuvering between empires. Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor is a result of this political maneuvering. The corridor was created in order to prevent the Russian Empire and British India from sharing a common border. While many afghans may decry the notion, Afghanistan has been shaped by foreign influence. The same can be said for almost every other nation on the globe. Almost all borders are determined by some from of political maneuvering. Our borders with Mexico and Canada have been determined through treaties and wars.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 12:24 PM

As I have learned more about the world, it's been interesting to see how arbitrary national borders can sometimes be. I think we are taught in school to associate "nations" with "nationalism," and although that is generally the case for most industrialized nations (whose citizens generally feel they are "nationals" within their own borders), it is not always true for the rest of the world. We see this in the numerous ethnic disputes in African nations, in the violent Yugoslav wars in Europe, and today with the Kurd uprising in Syria and Iraq- we see ill-defined borders that do not meet the needs of their peoples, nations that do not encompass the same sentiments of nationalism. As a result, we see indifference between these various peoples at best, or open conflict between varying ethnic and ideological groups at worst. Afghanistan as we know it today is not the result of self-determination or a sense of nationalism, but geopolitical jockeying between Russia and the United Kingdom. It is not a nation, but a political buffer.

As a result, Afghanistan does not act as a single nation- it may have a central government, but that government is incredibly weak, and people in remote areas often do not even know of its existence. Afghanistan is a series of small city-states and even more isolated settlements clumped together behind arbitrarily drawn lines, living their lives in much the same manner their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. This has made the mountainous, isolated regions of the nation a haven for terrorists and religious extremism, posing a serious issue in the region that, despite billions of dollars and a decade of fighting, the US has been unable to find a solution for. Divided amongst itself, Afghanistan is a nation in name only, something that the West likes to place on the map because of a dispute between two global powers nearly 2 centuries ago.

 

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 15, 3:28 PM
People often wonder why Afghanistan is so conflict ridden and point fingers at one thing or another.  This video sheds some light on why Afghanistan actually is what it is today.  The country did not get to chose its own borders and so cultural groups were thrown together that may not necessarily like to be associated.  The modern borders were set up as a buffer zone between the Soviet Union and the British Empire in India and Pakistan, which is why there is one small land strip known as the Wahkan Corridor sticking off of Afghanistan.  The border between modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan was set up in the late 1800s in order to stop British troops from invading Afghan territory and prevent the Afghans from assisting Pakistani rebels. This explains why the present borders of Afghanistan exist, but the establishment of these borders doesn’t seem to be very fair to Afghanistan, who were basically forced by imperial powers to comply.  Another imperial power that changed Afghanistan was the Persian Empire, hundreds of years ago.  The Persian influence is more cultural.  Afghanistan’s New Year was adopted from the Persian New Year so they’re celebrated on the same day.  Additionally one of the recognized languages in Afghanistan is a dialect of Farsi, which the Persian language.  All of this predates any of the influences of Islam, which shows what a hodgepodge of cultures Afghanistan has become.  This video briefly touches upon American involvement in the region during the Cold War, which escalated tensions even farther and left behind both Soviet and American influences.  The geographical changes that have occurred in the region for centuries has shaped Afghanistan’s history.
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Crisis Guide: Iran

Crisis Guide: Iran | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"Iran poses steep challenges to its Middle East neighbors and the world. Explore the country's complex regime structure and controversial nuclear program, and watch experts debate the range of policy options."


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This is an amzing resource to use and find out much about this country, both its past and present.  With this you can understand their feeling of hatred toward the US with its support of the Shah.  This is a relationship that the US needs to repair, but both sides need to work on this.  This are is so important to the US and the world given Iran's geographic location right on the Persian Gulf, whcih they can cut off and controll the oil flowing from that area, plus the oil they control, plus bordering several crucial US and NATO allies.  It only seems in everyone's best interest to sit down and talk.  Given the support Iran gives to many terrorists organization and it's longstanding position that Israel does not have the right the right to exist, this idea of sitting down and talking may be a fantasy.  However, with the new elections and the new President of Iran speaking at the UN there may be renewed hope of at least a start. 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 11, 2013 7:08 PM

Iran is in the middle of one of the most important geopolitical regions. One the bordered with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Iran is stratgeically positioned to have considerable control over the world’s most important waterway for oil shipping and trade, the Strait of Hormuz.


Given it's context, Iran is a country that students should more about than the three main facts that that most Americans are already aware of (1-Iran has an Islamic-based government, 2-an emerging nuclear program and 3-a ton of oil).  This interactive feature is a good starting point with great videos, timelines, maps, articles that assess the current situation in Iran. 


Tags: Iran, political, Middle East.

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Roots of the Mali Crisis

January 19, 2013—The West African nation of Mali is making headlines after a wave of French military actions on Islamic extremist groups now controlling the northern part of the country. National Geographic Senior Writer Peter Gwin has...

Via Seth Dixon
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Araceli Vilarrasa Cunillé's curator insight, February 6, 2013 6:37 AM

La crisi propera no es deixa fer prou atenció als canvis geopolítics a l' Africa.

Emma Lafleur's curator insight, March 29, 2013 3:32 PM

   This video clip that is great for learning not only about the situation in Mali, but how history leads to the events of today and how much one country can affect another country.

   When Europe colonized  Africa they created borders that separated groups of people that should have stayed together, and they put different ethnic groups together that should have been separated. With this alone comes great conflict because ethnic groups and neighboring tribes that have had conflicts for years now have to operate under the same government somehow and no one is ever really happy so conflicts arise.

    Also, the Arab Spring broke out which brought on all these new ideas and opportunities for the people to revolt and change their country, and some of the people left Libya after the fall of Gadaffi and went to Mali bringing their weapons and anger with them. All of these events led to the Mali crisis today, and it is interesting to see how much one country affects another country and as a history major I am greatly interested in how the history of the country brings about the events of today.

Al Picozzi's comment, July 18, 2013 12:15 PM
The borders were randomly drawn without taking culture, language, beliefs of the native populations etc into account. However drawing borders along ethnic lines didn't work in Europe after WWI. Alot of ethnic minorities were in countires that did not feel welcome. That was one reason for WWII
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Red Dawn remake swapped Chinese flags for North Korean ones

Red Dawn remake swapped Chinese flags for North Korean ones | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"When it comes to making a multimillion-dollar  action blockbuster, an important rule to follow is: do not alienate some1.3 billion potential theatergoers."
.

DB: As the reaction to the YouTube “Innocence of Muslims” trailer has shown, we must be more cautious of what we say and how we depict others as social media and cinema can now easily transcend boarders diversifying the place and space of potential viewers.

 

Forms of expression or entertainment such as art, music, dance, food and especially cinema can symbolize many of the values, norms, customs or fears that are prevalent within a particular society. However, these cultural expressions also may also carry a political stigma that conveys a message to its audience.  China has played a major role in the development of the November release of MGM’s remake of the movie “Red Dawn,” which was a 1984 politically-charged Cold War film about the USSR invading America. The remake of the film incorporated many themes associated with a “declining” America, yet this was not China’s concern. Originally the producers of this film intended to replace the USSR with the PRC which would portray China as the villain and antagonist of the film. Yet (as the Chinese government soon made MGM realize) this is inconsistent with the realities of 21st century geopolitics or the globally economy. The threat of having the film blocked by one of their biggest and most lucrative markets in East Asia pressured MGM to re-edit the film depicting North Korea as the villain before its release this November.

 

Question: How has globalization changed the film or entertainment industry in general?


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Amazing how they had to change who the enemy was when they found out the Chinese were being offened.  I remember when the original was being made.  The Soviet Union was up in arms about it, did they change the enemy at that time, nope.  The Soviet Union was not seen as an "economic" threat to making money off the movie, the Chinese are.

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Cities on Border With Mexico Burdened by Calls for Medical Help

Cities on Border With Mexico Burdened by Calls for Medical Help | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
From San Diego to Brownsville, Tex., requests for assistance have become a drain on the resources of fire departments in cities on the United States border with Mexico.

 

This is a poignant example of how site and situation impact the local geographic factors. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

These border towns should be getting some help from the federal government.  They handle ther calls of all the border medical emergencies from immigrants, both legal and illegal, and from people who left the US to live better in Mexico, but return to the US for medical care and suffer an "event" at the border to get to the hospital faster.  It also hurts the towns own citizens as sometimes these small towns only have one emergency vechile to do all the calls.  Maybe they should be given a grant to expand their emergency services since alot of the calls they take are from a federal source, ie border control.

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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:05 PM

This is one factor I never thought about before reading the article. Borders are one of the defining concepts of what constitutes a nation, and yet in emergencies these boundaries can become much more fluid. Of course borders in the first place are a human creation, but I imagine that along any border in the world, someone in dire need would want to get to the closest hospital, even if they're crossing a border to do so. At this point the idea of the authority implicated alongside borders might begin to seem less important. Though this makes me wonder if there are some locations which have international treaties so that local foreign departments may cross the border to help.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 24, 2014 4:43 PM

Medical expenses are a burden on millions of people each and every year. With conditions like this on the border there is no wonder why the Calimex fire department and responders needed funds. They also need to do something about the conditions on the California/Mexican border.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 3, 2015 1:18 PM

After reading this article I think there should be some type of health service at the border, using the fire trucks and ambulance as a taxi is unacceptable. If people crossing the border do not have health care as stated that some done, the ambulance and fire trucks should not have to cover the cost, money should be given to those fire stations across the border and without help the departments might run into some trouble.

 In San Diego more than half of the calls that the department receives comes from the port which is equivalent to the state borders. Are people seriously that desperate for a way to get across the border quicker? 

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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.

 

Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:07 PM

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!

 

This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma.  For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/ ;


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

It is amazing to see the kind of changes he has mentioned especially after military rule for about 50 years.  But you have to be careful as in all things.  Look at this article from BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12990563 Even though the changes have been made the military still holds some significant power.  It holds the most powerful ministires in the country and well as having 25%of the seats of both chambers of the parliament reserved for themselves.  In time if these restricitions are removed I think that sanctions could be removed a little at a time.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:19 PM

Burma is an area where the identity of the people has been muddled. This is an election that signals the people of Burma acting to clarify their needs through free and fair elections. Democracy is a powerful tool in regards to expressing the voices of the people. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the face of that voice.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:37 PM

This video explains that today the nation of Burma is at the cusp of change. This nation long oppressed by its government now stands to usher in a system of democracy and bring with it a hope of improving the lives of it's citizens. Sadly uplifting events are far and few between today but also long as people such as this aspire to bring change and better things for themselves and their families change can happen. Hopefully the people actually are able to achieve this level of freedom they seek and won't simply end up with a new brand of oppression.  

Matt Chapman's curator insight, April 26, 12:37 PM
This is huge for the changing of Burma to a democratic country after many years of suffering through oppression and non-freedom.
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Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars?

Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars? | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that  Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office in municipal elections beginning in 2015.

 

Driving a car as simple as it may sound, is a method of enhancing mobility and that means freedom of spatial expression.  This decision to allow women to vote has only demonstrated the cultural constraints of gender roles and how much more progress is needed.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This amazing to see that women still have very little rights in this kingdom.  Again like the article state the right to vote in Saudia Arabia is noting, especially when compared to the right to vote in the US.  This is still a monarchy, ruled by a family from above, not a constitiutional monarchy like the UK, there is no parliament and  the elections can be canceleld at any time.  To the Saudi's giving the women the right to drive goes against their very culture, their belief that women need to be subserviate to men.  The right to vote, since it is meaningless, means nothing to advacne women's rights in Saudia Arabia.  The king really is not giving anything at all, he is just making it look like he is...interesting.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 21, 2014 7:04 PM

(Central Asia topic 5 [independent topic])

The decrees made by Saudi Arabia's King regarding women's future rights are being viewed as empty promises. On top of that, this topic is at the convergence of not just political, but also social and religious topics. Political, social, economic, and religious interests are all tugging issues such as women's rights to vote and drive in different directions.

I am surprised this article did not mention something which I had heard before: the Saudi government still does not allow women to drive not only out of social custom, but also because their highways are facing a congestion problem. Giving women drivers licenses could roughly double the number of cars on the already-gridlocked roads, making commuting and transportation even more of a hassle.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:51 PM

What I find interesting is that allowing women to vote seems like a big step towards equality but it may be more superficial at addressing the real issue at hand. Women in this country are living with so much constraint, letting them vote may not be the giant step forward it seems to be. There are still cultural and institutional barriers that restraint the freedom and natural rights of women.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:40 AM

This decision is absolutely meaningless. Elections matter little in Saudi Arabia. The nation is an Absolute Monarchy. The Kings word on all issues is absolute. On the other hand driving a car, is a much more important symbol of freedom. Allowing women to drive, would give them a sense of mobility. Driving in all most every culture is associated with independence. The car allows you to travel anywhere you want, and avoids the trap of relying on others for transportation. By driving a car, you essentially achieve a certain level of independence. By keeping women from driving, you keep them from achieving independence, and force them to be dependent on the males in their lives.    

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Chinese Uighurs' economic fears

Chinese Uighurs' economic fears | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Amid ethnic tensions, minority regards modernisation plans in Xinjiang as favouring Han Chinese migrants.

 

With not as much cultural cachet in the West as Tibet has, the Uighur population in China has still dealt with many of the same political problems in their struggle for greater autonomy, but with much less publicity.  With massive Han Chinese migration, they've become minorities in their own homeland.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

The Uighur people are being left out of their own homeland.  The Chinese government has sent many Han Chinese to this area.  So many in fact that the Uighur are a minority in their traditional and ancestral homeland.  The Han are getting the jobs and going to be running the new gas operations that will surely be developed by the Chinese.  Why has this not been as reported in the west?  Is it becasue the people are mostly Muslim?  The same thing happened to Tibet, but that area seems to get more press.  Or is there going ot be more of a spotlight on this area givin the natural gas that has been found in this area?  Going to be interesting area to watch as this area becomes more developed.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:17 PM

The fact that the region is China's highest producer of natural gas but it also one of the poorest regions in the state is an interesting contrast to the wealth enjoyed by oil states in the Middle East. Add to the situation the ethnic marginalization of the Uighurs, and the violence between them and the Han Chinese, and the situation sounds like it could put an unpleasant international spot light (yet again) on China.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:00 PM

Uighurs are being pushed out of their homeland because of Han Chinese migration. This article is accurate when it claims that the amount of publicity the region gets is minimum. This makes the Uighurs more at risk than Tibet. With so much attention put on areas elsewhere, China will face less international push back as it over takes yet another region who wishes to maintain its autonomy and culture.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:54 PM

I believe that without doubt today it is a bad time to be a minority in China. The Chinese are experiencing a great deal of nationalism and in turn placing economic barriers on the minorities in order to drive them out of regions so the government will be able to repopulate them with Han Chinese. While the Han Chinese have always been the majority within China its only recently the government has decided to provide them with advancement at the risk of the other ethnic groups within China. 

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Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union'

Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union' | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Russian PM Vladimir Putin calls for the formation of a "Eurasian Union" of former Soviet republics, but says it will not be like the defunct USSR.

 

Russia's cultural influence over former Soviet Republics is strong, but the desire to strengthen these old ties is deeply embedded into the cultural ethos of Russia.  It is also a key part of Russia's geopolitical strategy for greater international influence and economic strength.

 


Via Seth Dixon, Meagan Harpin
Al Picozzi's insight:

So is this just to compete with NAFTA and the EU on an economic level?  Or is this to compete with the EU on economic, political and military level, much like the EU's EuroCorps?  Putin states thie is not a return to the USSR, but Russia has always been weary with the growing of NATO and the EU on its borders.  How about if Turkey gets int the EU right on the Russian border?  This action might move thie bloc creation even more forward and Putin might become more forceful to its creation.  No that former KGB member Putin is foreful.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 2, 2013 12:59 PM

Putin is calling for a Eurasian Union. He said it would change the political and economical configuration of the continent and have positve global effects. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have already formed an ecomonical allicance and it removes customs barriers. Putin has however denied that he is propsing for the recreation of the Soviet Union.  

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:26 PM

It is more than understandable that former Soviet satelite states are weary of any kind of union with Russia. However, some sort of treaty could benefit the block, particularly an arangement like the one already held between Russia, Belarus, and Kahzakstan. An agreement that would ease travel between the two countries appears to have little downside.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:11 PM

it can hardly be considered surprising that Putin wants another version of the USSR. every other major nation has some form of organization that it is a part of, and with Russia left alone it must now desperately scrabble for some alliance or union with any other nation.

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Forced to flee war, many Malian refugees to miss vote

Forced to flee war, many Malian refugees to miss vote | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
DAKAR/MANGAIZE, Niger (Reuters) - When Talhatou Hallahi Maiga heard that Malian officials had dispatched new ID cards to the desert north in preparation for Sunday's presidential election, he slipped out...
Al Picozzi's insight:

In a hard time in Mali people are missing a right that here in the US most people do not take advange of, the right to vote.  One man had to leave a refugee camp in order to get his voting card, but he did it even with all the danger involved.  Hard to understand how the people in the US just do not vote, especailly when compared to other areas of the world, it is completely safe.

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Bizarre Borders


Via Seth Dixon
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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 29, 2015 6:31 PM

Craziest thing I've ever seen!  The poor kids on Robert's Island that has to cross through Canada to go to school.  I think it's crazy that the borders were defined when they didn't even have a complete map.  Taking a guess obviously didn't work out.  It seems very difficult to define a border.  

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:39 PM

Sometimes borders between frendly neighbours like Canada and USA are less protected than borders between countries with conflicts.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:01 PM
before watching this video, to be very honest, I thought we really did have the longest straightest possible border between two countries. What really blows my mind is that there is literally a gap between the two countries signifying the border. Another one is the random tip of land that goes into Canada, but it is not really land, it is a lake. But by far, the most bizarre border to me is the Point Roberts in Alaska, where the high school students have to actually pass international borders just to go to school.
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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Amazing the amout of people Stalin sent to the gulags as politucal prisoners.  He even sent his own soldiers to them if they were captured and held in German POWs camps.  He though with them just evein seeing the west would lessen his hold.  Completely changed the ethnic geography of Soviet Russia

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:37 PM

This graph represents the areas where many of the Chechnes had been displaced to in the era of Stalins regime. Many of these people were displaced from their homes and forced to move. Many of them either had to leave family behind of they were forced to move together and had no initial home to live in.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:51 PM

i see this as history retelling itself. for some reason throughout history terrible men think that their race is better than another, this is not true and if a person wants to think this that is their prerogative, but some men think it to such an extent that they seek to eliminate the entire other people. nothing good can come of this and it turns into mass conflict every time. it destroys countries and breeds hate on all sides.

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Rising Anti-Immigration Sentiment in the EU

Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This looks just like the arguments in the US about the immigration issue here.  These seem to be be more of legal immigration, as well as illegal to some extent,  as to illegal immigration in the US.  The governments of some of the EU nations need this population in order to fill the workers shortage that has been fuled by low birth rates.  In the US its a little deffernt form of immigration.  Here many illegal immigrants are taking the much lower wage jobs and working in cash with no taxes, ie mirgrant farmers.  Well we want cheap food, that is the way the farm owners are doing it.  In Europe it seems that they are taking some jobs, but I assune since it is legal immigration they are paying some sort of tax on their wages.  These immigrants are from other EU countries for the most part.  Under the EU treaty it is legal for them to live and work in any member nation.  This shows the problem with supranational organizations, a country will lose some of its autonomy in these types of organizations.  For example, can the UK limit the number of people allowed into its country, or even limit access to their health care system under EU law?  If they do, what can the EU do to the UK?  Looks like a fight is about to start!

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:05 PM

Western Europe is facing the troubles of immigration for jobs. Countries in Europe, such as Eastern countries of Bulgaria and the P.I.G.S. are moving to core countries in search of work that the cannot find in their own land. The problem becomes a matter of the core country citizens not having jobs for themselves as their economy joins other in slowing down. Racial tensions are rising because of this. The video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the resentment is  towards Muslim immigrants.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 4:42 PM

this is hardly surprising that anti-immigrant sentiment has risen to this level. with no go zones in most major European cities it is unsurprising that people are trying to push back. considering that there are areas in Britain with sharia law, it's hardly surprising.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:58 PM

whenever you think about people rejecting immigration and illigal immigration being a problem you think about the united states but it is a problem all over the world. it does effect demographics of countries and places need to figure out how to balance helping others by letting them come to your country without it negatively effecting the well being of you own citizens in regards to jobs.

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Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous.

Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous. | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Oil-rich, velvet-rope-poor Azerbaijan, a country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea, would very much like to be the world’s next party capital.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Much like Dubai they are using their oil wealth to build a city on the ocean.  Also they share a border with Iran, which makes the US even more interested in the area.  They also as of late have supported the US against Russia in the Syria conflict.  This small, but oil rich and strategically located country is getting involved in geo-politics and want to make sure people know its on the map.  Long a part of the USSR it is establishing itself as a country in the world and on its way to make its own idenity.  They are also looking to lay a gas pipeline that will just increase their standing in the economy of the area and the world.  They still have thier issues, Russia could flex its muscle in the area and there is the the ongoing conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.  Going to be an interesting time in this part of the world.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:13 PM

By the looks of it, a tiny nation about the size of South Carolina, Azerbaijan wants to be exactly like Dubai. They want to be famous for what they have. It appears as if they will use their crude oil resources as their help to the top of the world. They will be quite the impressive country if they come out to be what they want. With help from the petroleum country BP, they are pumping oil out of the Caspian Sea. 

Alexis Rickey's curator insight, February 28, 3:34 PM
Azerbaijan, a small country conveniently located within central Asia and which sits on the Caspian Sea, is rich with massive amounts of oil. This country, which is said to be about the same size as the state of South Carolina, is demanding political and economic attention from international regions of the world in an effort to sustain its wealth and be more well known. 
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 4:15 PM
Azerbaijan is a poor country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea.  It is an oil rich country and now it wants to be famous.  
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California-Mexico Border: Dreams of a Transnational Metropolis

California-Mexico Border: Dreams of a Transnational Metropolis | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it

"A basic truth about the cultural geography of the California border [is this]—two very different city-building traditions come crashing into each other at one of the most contentious international boundary lines on the planet. In this collision, in the shocking contrast of landscapes, lies one critical ingredient of the border’s place identity."


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Also have heard stories of Tijuana...you know what happens there stays there.  Much like the Kennedy's in the US, Tijuana got its initial fame and wealth from the alcohol trade when the US started prohibition in the 1920, albeit the Kennedy family did it illegally with bootlegging.  Interesting contrast of building styles and cutures.  The space on the map makes this area what it is.  Without San Diego, Tijuana wouldn't be the same and San Diego wouldn't be the same without Tijuana.  This area also shows a contrast with the Canadian border.  Little or no fences on that border, but here, there are two in some spots, an old onecand a new post 9/11 one.  Why here then are there fences?  Culture too different?  Is it for racial reasons?  Is it just the drug trade and cartels that are all over the area the reason?  Is it US drug policy that makes the fence necessary?  Is it the US policy on immigration that the the fence a necessity?  Is it the worse economic conditions in Mexico or the violence that is forcing the people to run across the border?  Lots of questions and right now it looks like nobody has any real answers.   

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 23, 2013 10:37 AM

As a geographer native to the San Diego region (with family on both sides of the border), I found this article very compelling.  Relations across the border are economic, cultural and political in nature, and the merger of those varied interests have led to an uneven history of both cooperation and separation.  Herzog analyses three distinct factors that have shape the landscape of the California-Mexico border zone: urbanization, NAFTA, and global interruptions (9/11).    


Tags: borders, AAG, political, landscape, California, unit 4 political, Mexico.

Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, January 27, 2013 6:29 AM

Les territoires de la mondialisation: les frontières. Une frontière qui se ferme et pourtant, une urbanisation continue mais contrastée. 

Emma Lafleur's curator insight, February 7, 2013 5:45 PM

It is interesting to see how this border has transformed from a fence to a guideline and back over time. Researchers of these two cities can learn a lot about how the events of one country affect the other country, such as in the case of 9/11. This place is also a great place to study culture because it is here where researchers can study a melding of two cultures in action. Overall, this area gives great insight into how two bordering countries affect each other politically, economically, socially, and culturally.

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Eurozone unemployment hits record high

Eurozone unemployment hits record high | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The 17-nation bloc had a jobless rate of 11.6 per cent in September, while inflation eased slightly in the last month.

 

Although some countries in the Eurozone have lower unemployment rates like Austria (4.4%) and Germany (5.4%), more are in the worst collective tailspin since the creation of the common currency.  Spain has the worst unemplyment rate at 25.8% of the adult population out of work.  It has taken a nasty cultural and political turn as resentments and frustrations are boiling over in the Eurozone.  Some are derisively referring to the struggling southern European countries as P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). 

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

A big problem in the EU.  There are countries feeling the pinch becasue of the problems of other countries.  They feel why do we have to foot the bill of so many other countries that are just failing in their own economies through their own fault.  Sounds about the same as in the US when people say why do I have to pay for others mistakes and pay more in taxes.  One is on a macro scale, one is on a micro scale. 

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 2015 7:48 PM

This article was interesting because unemployment is such a big topic discussed with many people today. Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached an all time high in September as their economy is falling into a recession. The highest rate was recorded in Spain where 25.8 adults are unemployed. Further layoffs are going to occur as their budget programs begin to kick in. Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany have the lowest recorded rates.

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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

It made sense for American Samoa to ask for the move even though it is US territory.  It is more closely linked with the economies of the China, Japan, Australia, New Zeland and South Korea.  For them to all be on the same day just makes sense.  You can coordinate things better if everyone is on the same day, financial markets and be in line when the trading day starts and ends.  Seems to me to make sense that they are on the same day as their main economic partners.

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WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, April 27, 2015 1:06 PM

This is to me the coolest geographic location in the World... A group of islands nation located in both the south and north hemispheres and also to both the east and west of the international time line zone.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 1, 2015 8:06 PM

500 birthdays were taken away due to an international date line. In Samoa is in a confused state between the united states and the Asian pacific side of the timeline which would cause time and dates to be confusing.Dynamic economic networks and political allegiances have created a very difficult situation for the people near the border in Samoa.  The International Date line in Samoa is something that is needed to be watched and paid attention because it can affect people in ways that can be very significant even at a small tiny rate.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 26, 1:33 PM
This post shows the importance of trade to each country, so much so that Samoa was able to get the International Dateline changed to accommodate their trade needs, skipping a day and allowing easier economic networks with China and Australia, who are important trading partners. 
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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:51 PM

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.

 

What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Much like the piracy in the Caribbean in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries it is done in order to gain wealth and by the looks of it, fame.  They are called Pirate Kings in the video by the New York Times.  Again much like the pirate kings of the Caribbean.  Here however they are willing to give it up in order to better their country with the help of the internation community, the pirates of the Caribbean didn't have a country and they liked it that way.  However, it was tried in the early 1990's to help allievate the food and humanitarian suffering.  However the warlords of the time, especailly Aideed, saw their power, as well as their money, disappearing, so they fought this relief effort and kept Somalia in the dangerous situation it is in today.  So you have to ask the question: Can you take the pirates seriously that they want to change??  Past history says no.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

The media oftentimes demonizes specific groups of people. So I was presently surpassed that the NYT’s investigated the human aspect of desperation. Many of these Somalians are hopeless and the economic burden on their shoulders drives them to act unethical. When you first priority is survival, courteousness and moral laws often don’t apply. Nevertheless, it was cool to hear about these human stories.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:37 PM

Just like the pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, these folks bring all the vices of the originals except perhaps without much of the romanticism that comes with the elders. Though perhaps in two hundred years someone will make a movie titled Pirates of the Somalia featuring Johnny Depp's great-great-great grandson. 

 

It's understandable why these people want to get out of the business. Despite the sex and wealth they've gotten, it's not exactly stable employment. Nor is it as safe as sitting at a desk or being a plumber. But when your society simply doesn't support these industries, then the people are left to resort to more drastic measures.

 

It's also interesting to see the quazi-government stepping in to try and combat it. Traditional Muslim values are the reason for them wanting and end to it. It's understandable to not want children to look up to pirates and the life of crime they lead. But in order for the practice to stop, the pirates want international environmental protections, aid, and government support. Should the international community give into piracy or should it be removed by force?

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Countries that will support Palestine's UN bid for statehood

Countries that will support Palestine's UN bid for statehood | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Imgur is used to share photos with social networks and online communities, and has the funniest pictures from all over the Internet.

 

This map is incredible...it highlights the importance of not just how many supporters you have, but WHICH supporters are in your corner. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

The map is amazing and so are some of the comments that go along with it.  The countires in grey though I think have been mislabelled.  The US would want a Palesinian state as long as it is not under the control of a terrorist group and one that will acknowledge the the State of Israel has the right to exist.  It is amazing to see that they want the right of statehood but they are unwilling to grant that right to the people of Israel.  Its also amazing to note that many of the countries in green do recognize Israel and its right to exist.  This land has been under the control of many different people over the centuries and borders have been drawn and redrawn over and over.  It is time to sit down, talk like human beings and come to a solution.  Is it going to happen???  Probably not in my lifetime or my kids...history is just repeating itself again! 

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Kyle M Norton's comment, January 30, 2012 2:13 PM
This map does a good job of showing the division of east vs west
Kmcordeiro670's comment, February 2, 2012 5:24 PM
This map highlights the complexity of geopolitics in our modern times even further when set along side the current Syrian situation. The Palestinian conflict seems to be more social and political, the Syrian conflict has a much broader scope in terms of resources at risk. Thus if this was asking supporters of the Syrian resistance the giant mass of Russia must be dropped as a supporter, the same of Saudi Arabia. They have a much large stack in Syria remaining tyrannical for economic and regional issues then if Palestine was De-colonized.
Derek Ethier's comment, October 25, 2012 10:46 PM
This fact that this map displays how "Western" nations (NATO, U.N., Australia, etc.) are the only nations to deny the Palestinian bid for statehood shows how divided our world is today. Western nations dominate the world's landscape, though China has gained a great amount of power over the past decade or so. In reality, Palestine probably does deserve statehood. National boundaries should be drawn around ethnic lines. It some cases this is impossible, as in this case. The support Western Europe pledges to Israel on this issue is obvious and this is but another reason why tensions increase between the Middle East and the Western world.