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Libya / Qadaffi – • Revolution began in Libya similar to the one in Egypt. Rebels took to the streets, and Qadaffi government forces fired on protestors. President Obama under pressure from NATO agreed to help the rebels by committing US air power to bomb Qadaffi forces. As of yet, President Obama, who promised to get us out of foreign conflicts, has not gone to Congress for approval of this action. Both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are not happy over this situation. Remember - Qadaffi was one of the dictators that we studied – not a nice guy, and probably responsible for training terrorists. We also know very little about the rebels that we are helping. • Somalia – • Mohammad Ali Mahdi assumed power which led to clan fighting. The fighting divided the country. General Mohammad Farah Aidid held the capital. The common people were starving, 300,000 died and 1.5 million fled to neighboring countries as different groups fought for control. The UN sent peacekeeping forces. US troops tried to capture Aidid. In the process some US soldiers were killed. The “Black Hawk Down” movie is based on true events from this conflict. The UN & US withdrew in 1995 when it became clear they would not meet their goal. There is no sustained government, and the country is basically in anarchy. The international community is not focused on this area where armed men run the streets, and pirates run the waters around the country’s coast.
China – • President Hu is considered a dictator by many. China has a history of human rights violations including child labor, eradication of cultures, religious intolerance and imprisonment without trial. China heavily censors the media including internet. China claims Taiwan as part of their country. Taiwan claims it is independent. Democracy movements are usually met with government force. The US trades heavily with China. China has most favored nation status with the US. Basically – if we have 2 choices of where to buy a product, we will buy it from China when possible. China also owns much of the US debt. There are 1.7 billion Chinese people and we don’t really want to make them mad….. We owe them….. 73. Health Care in the US – Sometimes referred to as Obama Care – it is the new health care reform act that is suppose to bring health care to all Americans. Opposed by the “right” as unConstitutional – governments can not force you to buy a product. Supported by the “left” as an opportunity for millions that have been denied health care to get health care coverage – including many children. The AMA (American Medical Association)) was for the legislation when it came out, but has since decided to oppose this plan. It is very controversial as many on the “right” see this as more government intervention into their lives and that the tax payers are going to be paying more. However, who doesn’t want everyone to have health care?
US Economy / Gas Prices – • Toward the end of the Bush Administration a serious recession began (prices went up, wages went down or stayed the same, housing industry fell apart, corporations were failing, and oil prices went up). A stimulus plan and other plans to bail out the economy were implemented – GM, Fannie Mae, IG and some other companies were helped out by tax payer money. The economy did not immediately rebound, and has not really improved across the board as unemployment has gone up (especially in the Midwest and Northeast (Rustbelt) – which is part of the reason people are moving to the South and West (Sunbelt). Speculation on oil prices has driven the oil prices up as the economy was showing some signs of recovery. High oil prices are not good for consumers who will have to spend money on gas instead of buying other products. If it costs the farmer more gas money to get his tomatoes to market then he will charge more. The ravioli sauce guy will charge more to get the sauce to the cannery, the cannery will charge more to Chef Boyardee and ConAgra (the company that owns Chef Boyardee) will charge you dad more for the can of ravioli. Your dad who has to pay more for gas to get to the grocery store and for the ravioli will then charge his patients (your dad is a dentist) more to clean their teeth…. And so on…….
Nicolas Sarkozy – • President of France – asked NATO to get the US involved in Libya. France gets a bunch of oil from Libya. We don’t currently get much oil from Libya. He is known for banning burqas. Muslim women are forbidden from wearing a burqa (even by choice) in France. He also expelled the Roma – claimed they were a burden on society and illegal aliens in the country. • Roma – • Gypsies. These dark skinned people from eastern Europe originated in India. They have customs that are unlike many other groups. Typically, girls marry at a very young age (13-15), the population as a whole is not well educated, and they live a nomadic lifestyle. Roma do not have a homeland. Countries do not want them to move into their area because they become a burden on the tax payers. • Anchor babies / birthright citizenship – • According to the US Constitution Amendment #14 - babies born in the US or its territories are US citizens at birth. Regardless of who their parents are…. This is birthright citizenship. Anchor babies are babies born to illegal alien parents that are born in the US (and therefore citizens) that help lay the foundation for citizenship for family members when the baby becomes older. There have been many pieces of legislation brought up over the years to change this law. However, let it be known that most countries in the western hemisphere have similar laws.
Special interest groups – • A group (not a political party) that try to lobby (persuade) Congress to vote a certain way on legislation. • ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union – US group that advocates individual rights through legislation, litigation, and education • NRA – National Rifle Association – US group that advocates 2nd Amendment rights • NOW – National Organization of Women – legislation to reach true equality between men and women in the US. • AARP – American Association of Retired People – very powerful group for advancement of retired people and people over the age of 65 • NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – A civil rights organization for ethnic minorities in the US • UAW – the Untied Auto Workers – union of workers in the automobile industry. • AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations is a Federation of union workers.
Hezbollah – • The US considers this group as a terrorist organization. The Hezbollah has ties to the Hamas and the Fatah. This group is anti-Israeli and has worked through peaceful elections to win more seats and power in Lebanon. • Iran (Ahmadinejad) • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the elected president of Iran. He is a strong opponent of Israel. He has even said that the Holocaust did not happen. Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and its allies (the US). We have not been friend with Iran since 1979 when the Iranian Revolution included taking American embassy workers hostage. We actually supported Iraq (Saddam Hussein) when they were fighting Iran during the 1980s. Iran is now developing a nuclear power program. The US and other nations are concerned that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons also. We do not know because Iran has not allowed inspectors into inspect. …. This is the reason we went into Iraq….. In Iran, there is also a Supreme Leader – Ayatollah Ali Khameinnei – he is the one making the decisions. Ahmadinejad does not make decisions on his own.
Egypt (Mubarak) – • After the revolution in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets. At first President Hosni Mubarak used force against the protestors, but realized that he could not hold off the revolution. He stepped down from power. The military has been given control of the government until elections can be held. Mubarak went into hiding, but has since been arrested and is being held in Egypt without bail. The US is concerned because Egypt has been an ally of ours and now we are not sure what is going to happen. We are concerned about Radical Muslims with ties to al-Qaeda (The Muslim Brotherhood) getting into power… Israel is also worried about this situtation because Egypt and Israel have had a peace agreement since 1978. They share a border. • Why is the US hated in some parts of the world? • 1. The US does not have a great track record of keeping promises. We often say things that other countries want to hear and then do what is best for us. We tend only to get involved in situations that will benefit us personally. 2. We support Israel. Many nations are not happy with how Israel was created from Palestinian land. 3. Some groups are just jealous of what we have. 4. We are arrogant 5. We are the only true super power in the world and we stick our noses in places that others do not want us. 6. Western habits that some places consider immoral – some music, films, lifestyles.
Saudi Arabia (King Abdullah) – • King Abdullah is the absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia (people don’t vote for king). There are few rights in SA unless you are in the royal family. SA has the world’s largest reserves of oil and natural gas. The US buys much of its oil from SA. SA is also the site of Mecca and Medina – the two most holy places in Islam. There is a rivalry between Iran and SA. Not out in the open as they are both members of OPEC, but SA is Sunni and SA is the leading Sunni nation where Iran are Shiite and the leading Shiite nation. It has been viewed in some parts of the world that as we are dependent on SA oil that we will do favors for them and ignore the obvious inequality in the country and human rights violations. • Japan’s triple disaster – • Japan is probably the country most prepared for earthquakes. Located on the Ring of Fire, Japan has many building codes and inventions dealing with earthquakes. March 11th, a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan did serious damage. This is a huge earthquake (Haiti was only 7.0). The earthquake caused a tsunami that inundated the land with a series of giant waves. The tsunami and earthquake caused power outages and it was impossible to cool the reactors at the nuclear power plant causing explosions. Any one of these events is awful, but Japan was probably prepared, but together they were caught off guard. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 people were killed.
Ireland’s peace – • Northern Ireland is part of the UK. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) and other groups have been fighting against the British in Northern Ireland. In 1998, a peace agreement was signed. There have been skirmishes on both sides as generations have distrusted each other. However, the peace appears to be sticking and Ireland (both parts) appear to be prospering economically. Tourism is on the rise. • European Union – • Union of 27 countries in Europe that have a common market. They have a common currency (except for 2 countries that use Euros and their own currency). People, goods, services can cross borders without taxes or passports (very similar to the US state system). However, these are independent countries. The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc. The EU has its own parliament and there are ministers (representatives) to the EU from each country. The EU also has its own judicial branch. They are working on complete Union similar to the United States of Europe in the future. • Middle East Revolutions – • First Tunisia (Zine), then Egypt (Mubarak), then Libya (Qadaffi), but there have also been revolts in other countries – Iran (Ahmadinejad), Yemen (Saleh), Morocco (King Muhammad VI), Bahrain (Hamad), Algeria (Boutaflika), Syria (Assad). These countries have a history of dictatorship and mismanagement. Revolts often met with force from government.
South Sudan – • In January the people of the southern part of Sudan voted to become independent of Sudan and create the country of South Sudan. It is not official yet, but appears that Omar al-Bashir will let this happen. Future problems for South Sudan will include lack of resources and the fact it is landlocked. Sudan currently controls the oil fields that are located right at the proposed border (on the Sudan side). US has not made an official position on South Sudan. • Choke points – • Small, strategic waterways that are an advantage to control. • Strategic oil transportation choke points – • Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca, Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb, Bosporus Strait, Panama Canal • What changes have happened due to the 2010 census? • Northeast and midwest (rustbelt) lost representatives. South and west (sunbelt) gained representatives. Texas gained the most representatives.
People to know: • A. Donald Trump: • Rich American real estate mogul that also has the show the Apprentice on TV. He is famous for his comb over. He was one of the very vocal members of the birthers. • President Assad: • President of Syria. He has ruthlessly stopped the revolution (riots) in his country. 70 were killed in protests last Friday (20th) C, D, E, & F: King Hamad of Bahrain, President Bouteflika of Algeria, President Salih of Yemen, and King Mohammad VI of Morocco are all trying to stop protests / revolution in their countries. Each has tried a series of legislation that give the people more say in the government. • Gender equality – • Northern European countries (Scandinavia) reported to be the most equal between men and women. Worst nations for equality are in Africa and Middle East according to the report.
Cholera – • An infection of the small intestine that is caused by a bacteria. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. In return these issues cause dehydration and possibly death. Transmission is usually through contaminated water and food. Treatment is usually rehydration and antibiotics. 100,000 – 130,000 die of cholera a year. Haiti is currently having a severe outbreak of cholera. Cholera is much more prevalent in poor areas of the world. • Malaria – • Transmitted by mosquitoes, this infectious disease is widespread in tropical and semi-tropical areas. #1 prevention – nets. Most mosquitoes bite at night. Nets protect people from bites. Treatment drugs are expensive, and there is no cure. Malaria stays in the body. High fever that can cause death… brain pretty much boils. Over 700,000 people die of Malaria a year.
96 – 108 These are on your demographic vocabulary sheet. You also need to read over the 10 characteristics of a developed / developing country. Know what the definition of each one. Be able to use the information: For example – a high life expectancy means you live for a long time. You are more likely to live a long time in a high HDI country because of better living conditions, better health care, and more education on how to live longer life. GNI is a new term (107) – Gross National Index is basically the amount the average person earns. It is adjusted from GDP per capita for actual cost to live in the country – taxes, inflation, etc. 109 & 110 Characteristics of a developed / developing country you should have. It should still be on my website. 111. – 117 are skills. If you do not know how to do / read / analyze these types of graphs etc. … come see me after school