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My escape from North Korea

"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not all migration is voluntary and this woman's personal struggle to flee North Korea alternates between heartwarming and heartbreaking.  Her accent is thick, but it is worth it to her her story from her own mouth. 


Tags: North Koreamigration, political, East Asia, development, states, poverty.

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서병기's curator insight, November 6, 2014 7:00 PM

Because of the tragedies of history, there are still scattered family both in South and North Korea. Please hope for the unification of the Korean Peninsula.

Julia Kang's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:45 PM

So many North Koreans are suffering from poverty. They do not have any food and we should pay more attention to them. This video was quite interesting!

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:37 PM

This TED talk is amazing and gives you a real life insight on what it is like to be a refugee.. This women's story is one of courage an strength. I was thoroughly surprised at how these people were being punished simply for trying to survive.

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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What does a state need to have to be politically viable?  If you were to start your own country, what would you need to do?  This isn't just a hypothetical question since South Sudan is currently undergoing this process and having to answer these questions. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states.  South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage.  By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them.  Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?  

 

Tags: Italy, states, autonomy, ethnic, language, devolution.

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Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic. 

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A Barrier to Peace

A Barrier to Peace | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Why would they want to pull down these walls?” asks William Boyd mildly as he offers me a cup of tea in his home at Cluan Place, a predominantly Loyalist area of east Belfast.


These walls, orginally installed in the late 60s to protect Belfast residents during "the Troubles."  Today, some argue that these walls are now barriers to the peace process as they continue defacto segregation.  Walls, as barriers to diffusion, stifle communication, cooperation and interaction.  Still, these walls are symbols of communal identity and icons in the cultural landscape.  For more academic work on this, see Peter Shirlow's Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City.

 

Questions to Consider: How would a wall through an already culturally and politically divided city impact both sides of the wall?  Today, are the walls beneficial to peace in Northern Ireland?       


Tags: Ireland, states, borders, political

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 30, 2013 12:14 PM

The barrier in Belfast, Ireland is an impressive one. It has been there since the 1960s and having it there has become a security for the residence on both sides. Neither side wants it taken down, however, they have extremely different political/religious views. It seems strange to me that these people would prefer living in prison-like conditions just because that is the way it has been for so long. So long as the physical walls stay up, so will the cultural walls between these people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:13 AM

This article is about large walls which were constructed fifty years ago to separate a part Belfast, Northern Ireland to protect citizens from conflicts between loyalists and separatists. Q wall separating people could temporarily protect people from violent conflict, but it would undoubtedly ensure continued conflict and intensify the feeling of "Us vs. Them." Though the people interviewed from both sides of the wall in the article like the wall since it gives them a feeling of security, the wall is likely damaging to a peace process in Northern Ireland.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:56 PM

We have seen walls in our class on pictures and videos but it usually is dividing tourists from natives, rich and the poor, even racial reasons. One of the comments made in this article was it felt safe with a prison atmosphere which statistics show that a lot of inmates who are released end up as repeated offenders because they had no other life except prison life. They are accustomed to it and know the rules and know how to live. I guess that is how these people feel. Culturally though they will not expand and experience only what their culture has to offer what will happen when they get old and the birthrate does not keep up with the death rate? I couldn't live like this.

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Puerto Rico endorses US statehood

Puerto Rico endorses US statehood | Geography Education | Scoop.it
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans faced a fundamental question on Election Day: Should they change their ties with the United States?


Lost in the election day enthusiasm throught much of the United Statees was coverage about Puerto Rico.  A 'non-binding referendum' was on the ballot to reconsider the 114-relationship with the United States as a territory.  54% voted for a change, while 46% favored the status quo.  The second question was asking how to change that relationship: 61% voted for statehood, 33% endorsed a sovereign free association, and 5% for independence.  President Obama has gone on record stating that he'll support the will of a clear majority.  We'll see what this means, but we are a lot closer to 51 states than we've ever been before.  For more information, see Matt Rosenberg's assessment.


Tags: USA, political, states, autonomy

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Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:45 PM

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 10:13 AM

if Puerto Ricans do decide to become a full American state then it will be a boon for both groups. the fact that this has happened now reflects a surprising change, but they would make a welcome addition to the us.

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What is in a Name?

What is in a Name? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: Middle East, political, states, perspective, unit 4 political.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 10:07 AM

(Africa topic 2)

Asking what lies within a name is more of a subjective question than it is objective. Yes, all names have some sort of meaning or origin behind them, but it isn't always relevant. I doubt that my friends really ever wonder why my last name is Hobson; they just use it to refer to and identify me. On the other hand, a genealogist might take great interest. Similarly, it seems as if the dispute of regional names, such as Israel and Palestine, has a similar contradiction: some just want to refer to the region in the easiest, most familiar way possible, while others take it directly to heart. Perhaps more of a distinction should be made between physical and political naming conventions. An example would be classifying Israel and Palestine to both be in the physical region of Palestine, whereas certain areas (which are still being debated) should be referred to as Israel when speaking politically.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 2:56 AM

While this comic is clearly done in jest it really highlights the importance a name holds to people. Their are some issues which heavily divide people, in this case the tensions between Israel and Palestine and lead to the formation of very strong opinions. With these opinions come the aspect of properly assigning a title to them. In some cases the same thing is known by many names and is highly contested.  

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Exclusive Economic Zones

Exclusive Economic Zones | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Today, a country’s marine economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line (hi-res image). This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).


Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies?  Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions? 


Tagseconomic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.  

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Younger Africa

Younger Africa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Across Africa, a continent where the average age is about 19, protests have flared against leaders who may have outstayed their welcome.


This interactive mapping feature compares two distinct data sets in an attempt to show that the two are correlated on the continent of Africa.  The base layer of this thematic map is demographic, noting how much of the overall population in a given country is under the age of 16.  The interactive feature with point data describes the political unrest or instability in that particular country. 


Questions to ponder: Does the cartographer 'convince' you that Africa's having a very young (globally speaking) demographic cohort led towards greater political instability?  Are there other factors worth considering?  What does this map and it's embedded data tell us?    


Tags: Africa, political, conflict, unit 4 political, states, governance, population, demographics, unit 2 population

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In Remembrance: Teaching September 11

In Remembrance: Teaching September 11 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The the United States, 9/11 is memorialized in our landscapes and is etched in our collective consciousness.  This coming Tuesday is the anniversary and Teaching History has put together a host of teaching materials about the importance and impact of the terrorist attacks of Septemper 11th, 2001 on the U.S. and the world.

 

Tags: Landscape, terrorism, conflict, states, political, place, historical, unit 4 political.

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Aaron Feliciano's comment, September 12, 2012 5:47 PM
9/11 will always be remembered in the eyes of americans and they will never forget what they were doing that day. i know i will not
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Israel/Palestine Border

Israel/Palestine Border | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the knottiest border problem of all.

 

The historical events of 1948 and 1967 loom large in the formation of the borders in the region of Israel/Palestine. This is the most contentious border in the world with competing political/cultural factions with distinct territorial visions for the place. To complicate matters, other countries (most notably the United States and European countries siding with Israel and Arab states with other Muslim-majority countries supporting Palestine) are involved in the region, making this the most contentious border in the world. As Frank Jacobs said, “considering how deep those divisions are, it’s remarkable how relatively new the current set of borders is.” This is an intriguing analysis of an incredibly important set of borders that have larger geographic repercussions despite the short distances and relatively small populations involved.

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The United Nations at a Glance

The United Nations at a Glance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This is the site for the United Nations at a Glance. Here you will find information and links on history, members, visitis, employement and other details.

 

While some critize the ineffectiveness of the organization, the United Nations remains a key organization to get understanding modern geopolitics.  Through their UN voting patterns, we can assess the geopolitical motivations, interests and alliances of member states.  Also, initiatives (whether successful or not) and highlight the important issues of the day that globally aware students should understand.  

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | Geography Education | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention

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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."


In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.
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South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country

South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This infographic is a great introduction to the historical genesis of South Sudan and the political uncertainty and difficulties that it now faces as an independent country. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:08 PM

South Sudan recently gained its independence from Sudan. South Sudan is now home to 10-12 million people and is the 193rd member of the United Nations. However, just because South Sudan became independent from Sudan does not mean it does not no longer carry some of the remaining issues.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 1:26 PM

This infographic gives an idea of why South Sudan seceded from the rest of the country. Decades of civil war preceded the secession, and it is clear the cultural differences between the two areas were a contributing factor. South Sudan is a part of the fertile Sahel, with the majority of its people Christian, while Sudan is mostly desert, with the majority of its people Muslims. South Sudan, as a new nation, faces a number of difficulties. Its new government needed to remain stable to focus on nation building, but war has broken out between the government and a rebel faction. South Sudan, should it become stable again, should work to improve the education of its people, as the infographic explains, since the vote to secede needed symbols rather than words due to only 15% of its people being literate.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:05 PM

South Sudan has separated itself two years ago from the rest of Sudan. Its powers have become acknowledged by other countries and its messages to the outside world are ones of peace.

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Korea and the Yellow Sea

Korea and the Yellow Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This image is appears to be a regional inset of the classic Earth at Night composite image however this nighttime remote sensing image was taken from Sept. 2012.  The Earth at Night image is typically used in classrooms to discuss what this actually means for human geography (Population density?  Development? Consumption? Where? How come?).  However, this particular portion of the global image focused on the Korean Peninsula highlights two other specific issues:

  1. the impact of a totalitarian state can actually be seen from space as South Korea has a per captia income level 17 times higher than that of North Korea. 
  2. the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) can be seen in the Yellow Sea as fishing vessels form a line approximately 200 nautical miles off the coast of South Korea.     


Tagseconomic, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, territoriality, states, unit 4 political, remote sensing.

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서병기's curator insight, November 6, 2014 7:03 PM

We should try to alleviate the great difference of the North and South Korea. It's time to cooperate.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 25, 2014 10:59 AM

The contrast between North and South Korea in this Earth at Night image shows just how different these countries are. South Korea, with aid from the United States, is becoming a highly developed and prosperous power, with a impressive economy compared to what it was just decades ago. On the other hand, North Korea is dark, both literally and figuratively. North Korea's economy remains highly undeveloped, and the few utilities that the country provides are unreliable and not far stretching. The only visible bright light in North Korea is the city of Pyongyang, and even that is nothing compared to Seoul.

 

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:16 PM

Devastated by the war that secured its independence, South Korea entered the 1960's as a third world country. Today, it is one of the strongest economies in the world, with a vibrant culture and strong allies in the US and Japan. The economic growth it experienced in the final decades of the 20th century is nothing short of remarkable, thoroughly earning its title as an "Asian Tiger" economy. The quality of life enjoyed by its citizens, and the nation continues to prosper in the face of aggression shown by its northern neighbor. The leaps and bounds made in the South Korean economy and its infrastructure is highlighted by this map, showing the intense amounts of development that have occurred all over the country- there isn't a dark spot in the entire southern half of the Korean peninsula. Contrasted to North Korea, its particular striking- the two nations have really taken opposite paths since the end to hostilities between the two in 1953. Should they be able to avoid another conflict, South Korea will only continue to prosper as we push forward into the 21st century.

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U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid

U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The United Nations General Assembly approved an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.


While this may be primarily symbolic, it is still a highly significant move on the part of the United Nations.  65 years ago, the United Nations called for a two-state system.  This map of the vote that I found on Facebook (can't find another source as of yet) is quite intriguing. 

 

Questions to Ponder: Why might a country choose to abstain?  Can you think of a specific reason why a particular country abstained?  With this new geopolitical fact, how will Israel and Palestine move forward?   

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 10:25 AM

One year ago, the U.N. status regarding Palestine was upgraded from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state".  While Palestinians believe that this is a major push for peace and for Palestinian independence, other countries believe that the change will not do anything for Palestine.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 10:17 AM

(Africa topic 3)

Though there is much to be said from this map, I would like to focus on the red and black countries. I was surprised that only 9 nations did not support the acknowledgement of Palestine as a recognizable political entity. Of those 9, only 2 are members of the G8 (or perhaps now G7 due to Russia's suspension) Summit committee. The countries which abstained likely did so out of a mix of reasons: to not offend some of their allies by voting no, to not offend other allies by voting yes, not having enough of an opinion to make a complete decision, or having a mixed opinion within their own borders. IN this way it's a "pleading the Fifth" motion, which I believe can be seen as a smart move, politically speaking. Just like the 2-party struggle within the US, sometimes there are no two clear right and wrong answers.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:24 PM

the only reason i can see for not including paslestine is that they do not have defined country boarders. this would make it difficult for them to be included in decisions made by the U.N. once they have established boarders (something they need to work out with israel and the U.N.) i can not see any reason to not include them. conversely, if they are included in the U.N. then it seems that it would only help to resolve the issue since they would both seemingly be more linked together in a positive way.

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Inside North Korea

Go undercover with National Geographic correspondent Lisa Ling as she journeys into mysterious and reclusive North Korea.


We know so little about life in North Korea since they have the world’s least free press (that is not hyperbole--Freedom House ranks countries from 0 to 99 with 0 being the most free and 99 being the least free.  North Korea has recently "improved" its rating to 97, the worst in the world). Official coverage is highly censored and filled with government propaganda. This 2009 glimpse is incredibly poignant.


Tags: East Asia, development, states, poverty.

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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What is more likely to happen first: Greece will leave the eurozone, or Scotland will leave the UK?


Although there is currently only about 30% of Scotland that would support independence, this is something that will be gaining importance.  The United Kingdom is a complex political entity, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland connected with England.  The "divorce referendum" will be help on October 2014 to see if Scotland wishes to dissolve this union and many of the political and economic events throughout Europe will be seen through this prism, especially the Euro Zone crisis in southern European countries (e.g.-Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal).  The possibility that this might happen are small, but as the article stated, "not zero." 


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:27 PM

Good for Scotland... as anyone that has watched Braveheart knows, all they need is Mel Gibson to fight for their independence, and they will surely win!  I know some people that play the bagpies, and I like the Scottish music better than much English music.  I don't know much about the UK, so I have little to guide me in favor or against Scotland declaring independence, but aw heck, why not...  The US declared independence, and it seemed to work out for them until... whenever...? forever? it depends on what you use as criteria to look at it...  But live and let live, let people do what they want, the only advice to that is not to let people harm others.  That way, true peace can be achieved.  Harmony, instead of harm.  So I would advocate for Scotland to wear women's clothing with turtle shells in their crotches and dance to celebrate their independence if that's what they want, as long as there are no epic battle sequences that precede or follow their dancing.  Don't be an elitist, open your eyes, the governments own your brothers and their lives... We must work to change this.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 8:42 PM

I had the pleasure of actually meeting a couple from Scotland who was in favor of Scotland's independence. I asked them what they thought would happen to their relationship with England and the rest of the European union.  The woman told me that they were uncertain of what would happen exactly but it would still be worth the shot, that she was willing to risk it to just be Scotland, and the UK because she identified with Scotland.

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The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine

The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability.  While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.   


Questions to Ponder:  How is this a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?

 

Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.

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Melissa Burr's comment, October 10, 2012 10:13 AM
This map is persuasive because it does not show the usual Palestine. This map is fragmented and the geographic impacts it shows are the routes taken in at leisure for maritime activity and also shows the urban and popluated areas in the past and how how the sraelites impact those areas.
Matthew Jones's comment, October 10, 2012 10:16 AM
The reason this is a persuasive map in my opinion is that this map does a very good job of allowing the reader to understand the focus in which it intends to present. information key which it offers is crucial to the map b/ it help the reader better understand and analyze this map in its entirety. as far As the second question unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable as far as the impact his map as on palestiine or isreal.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 10, 2012 11:24 AM
This map is unique and not typical. The way that Palestine's land is severed and each transportation access point is clearly shown and highlighted, makes this map's data very persuasive and impactful. This map examines the Israelis' control of the land.
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Welcome To The New Middle East

Welcome To The New Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The violent protests at U.S. embassies this week seemed to catch the new Middle East governments flat-footed. So are these attacks an aberration on the rocky road of nation building, or a harbinger of a region moving toward greater chaos?


This nicely puts the political instability of North Africa in context to understand the recent attack on U.S. embassies.


Tags: MiddleEast, political, states.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 6:33 PM
Although change is continuous we must remember that it does not occur instantaneously. The Arab Spring and the removal of many autocratic governments has created in many of these countries a power gap that the new governments are trying to fill among other local competing factions. Before we judge the New Middle East we must take into account that these actions were done by individuals in the response to a video uploaded by an individual. Should the worth of a nation be measured by the acts of a few people? Likewise the anti-Islamic video that went viral stuck at the heart of Middle Eastern beliefs and it should not be surprising that it was not well received by Muslims. Remember the public outcry in the US over the “victory” Mosque in New York? Multiply that feeling by a factor of 10 and we might understand how many Muslims felt about this video.
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England, Britain and the UK

England, Britain and the UK | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is the short version of the differences between these interrelated places and terms; the long version is much more complicated than this. 


Tags: Europe, political, unit 4 political, states, toponyms.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 11:05 PM

(Europe topic 7)

Perhaps this "short" version would've been a better starting point for those less familiar with the terminology. :-) And at least this doesn;t have to be edited to include an independent Scotland, which might've sparked a debate about the terms "U.K." and "Great Britain."

Nonetheless, this serves as a great example of the often-overlooked contrast between physical and political boundaries. Perhaps a simpler example would be "the Americas" (physical) and "the United States of America" (political).

Perhaps one peculiarity which I can relate to this example is that of "Bristol County", a term used seemingly interchangeably between all towns in east-central Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. Though currently these are 2 separate counties in 2 different states which just happen to bear the same name, realizing the history behind all of these types of examples can offer further insight into the geographic contexts (physical, political, personal, etc.)

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:52 PM

Its no wonder people often get confused when referencing the UK, Britain Isles and Great Britain. I sometimes struggle with the terms and being able to locate where each of the 5 countries fall under. This diagram does a good job at pinpointing where each of the 5 countries on the eastern border of Europe lies.Great Britain consist of Scotland, England, and Wales. The United Kingdom consist of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, While Ireland consist of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And finally the British Isles consisting of all the countries within. This raises the question, if Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, is their identity shared also with the Republic of Ireland?

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 3:20 PM

To be honest here, this map clarifies a lot of things for myself. I never understood what the British Isles were compares to the UK, Great Britain and England. People used to confuse me all the time and they would refer to England as the UK or Great Britain. Now, I understand England is it's own country and it is part of the UK which is a combination of countries, where as Great Britain is just Three areas, which also include England in it. Now, I fully understand the concept of the United Kingdom and Great Britain. . 

Suggested by Marc Crawford , Mankato East High School
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Mapping Population Density

Mapping Population Density | Geography Education | Scoop.it
I found these cartograms from an article in the Telegraph and was immediately impressed. The cartograms originated here and use data from the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project as to create the int...

 

This series of cartograms shows some imbalanced populations (such as the pictured Australia) by highlighting countries that have established forward capitals.  Question to ponder: Do forward capitals change the demographic regions of a country significantly enough to justify moving the capital? 

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Joe Andrade's curator insight, August 5, 2013 10:21 PM

Interseting way to visualy map population density.

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 2014 7:28 PM

It's a creative and vial way to map population density. 

MissPatel's curator insight, December 16, 2014 3:24 AM

This is from 'worldmapper' - it is a great sight to help you understand using technology the most densely populated areas of various countries. What do you think they are? 

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Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London

Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Discover the number of countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Find out which countries are not participating in the Olympic Games and learn which non-countries are participating as well.

 

204 countries are participating in the Olympics?  There aren't even 204 countries in the world!  This article looks at the political geography of international recognition.   One interesting case not discussed in the article is that of Taiwan.  Taiwan is participating, but marched under a non-Taiwanese flag under the name Chinese Taipei because the IOC wanted the mainland Chinese to return to the games. Also, South Sudan, Kosovo and the Vatican are not participating (although pondering them competing, especially the Vatican, is something that deeply amuses me).  Another intriguing thought: how many of the participants were former British colonies?   There are more classroom resources based on the Olympics from the GA.

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Emily Larsson's comment, August 26, 2013 9:08 PM
I love the Olympics! Its amazing how almost all of the countries in the world can come together for an event and forget about the conflicts they have back at home.
Jason Charles Wright's curator insight, April 27, 2017 11:51 AM
Countries are participating in the Olympics, but are not even a country. These countries are not even under the proper flag like Taiwan and South Sudan and Kosovo and the Vatican. 
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Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Geography Education | Scoop.it
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...

 

In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question.  The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it.  Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:23 PM

When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis.  What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea.  Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it.  This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:29 PM

The EEZ policy that exist has made every space up for contentious conflict. The miles off the coast of Surtsey and other small islands have become valuable because of EEZ and conflict exist over islands that are uninhabited and useless. Economic geography can influence political geography when it comes to these small island and their exclusive economic zone.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 12, 2015 10:46 AM

You have to be joking with me!!!!!!!!

 

Claims for a volcanic-induced mass of land?  In this day and age, one would hope that something like this would not lead to a long and drawn-out dispute.  There is much more pertinent issues present in this world.


 How about this for an idea?  Let's leave the "island" neutral and allow it it to be used as a temporary destination for whomever visits it.  It should be protected and preserved by everyone interested but not so much that visitors cannot temporarily explore and enjoy the island.  

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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:10 AM

A great and entertaining way to explain this part of Europe.  I know I have in the past used the terms England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom to all refer to the same thing. It was also amazing to see that people are the same everywhere in that the people in Wales do not consider themselves British, much the same way the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilain and not Italian. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:09 PM

As an outsider looking in the concept of the United Kingdom is a little confusing. We are taught to view Scotland as its own country, but they are countries within a larger structure. This video makes what would confuse many Americans and condenses it into a clear video that is just about 5 mins.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:38 PM

Many people often interchange the UK, Great Britain, and England, but in reality, they all describe different different things. The UK is a country of four countries, each with equal power, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales but they are all considered British citizens.UK is a political term, describing a country. Great Britain is a physical geographical term describing the land mass containing Scotland, Wales, and England.  The British Isles refers to both Great Britain and the Island of Ireland. All of these terms describe different things, being characterized by either political affiliation or geographic characteristics.