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PSC 209: World Politics, PSC209 GoogOlympics

revised 11/28/18 with questions, by Jeremy Lewis
GoogOlympic Events

GoogOlympic Events

The Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 and the political geography of New Zealand
World Rugby. 2018. "Rugby Union: laws of the game." [Simplified laws, 2018, with videos and illustrations]
Pengelly, Martin. 2015. "He today that sheds his blood with me: when West Point rugby went to war." The Guardian, 19 Sep. 2015. [PDF] [Reporters]
Anon. 2015. "A history of the New Zealand rugby haka." The Economist, 4 Nov. 2015. [PDF] [Reporter]

You will receive an email (to your Hawks address only) inviting you to form a team of three to answer questions provided in a Google Form.

For country data, try the CIA.gov site's World Factbook. You can search for a country's world rankings by income per capita, inequality of family income (by the Gini index) and other factors.
- What are the positions and events in rugby union football?
- Which countries have the best women's teams?
- What are the scores awarded for actions?
- What are the main events in New Zealand's history?
- What are the contributions of Maori culture to New Zealand and to rugby?
- What are the characteristics of New Zealand's society, economy and politics?

Presidential Conflict of Interest
Do a President's businesses raise conflicts of interest abroad?  

Eichenwald, Kurt. 2016a. "Trump Foreign Business Ties Conflicting ..." Newsweek 09/14/16 [PDF]
Kutner, Max. 2016. "Trump Urged to Disclose Foreign Business Ties" Newsweek 09/19/16
Eichenwald, Kurt. 2016b. "Trump's Blind Trust Plan Makes No Sense" Newsweek 09/20/16 [PDF]
- How can a President avoid conflicts of interest if he has global business dealings with partners who have close ties to foreign leaders, some of them unsavory?



Traitors and the Treason clause
Search for information about these alleged, modern traitors, and ask yourself whether they meet the constitutional criteria:
    John Walker Lindh (the so-called "American Taliban"in Afghanistan) [Back row]
    Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning (a source of WikiLeaks on Iraq war) [fourth row]
    Edward Snowden (a source of WikiLeaks on Surveillance). [Third row}
    President Trump's relations with Russia (and his former staff who have been indicted or are cooperating with the Mueller investigation) [Front two rows]
- What reasons could be given by the prosecution and by the defense, about the use of the charge of "treason"?



Middle Eastern culture clashes


Was the war in Iraq justified?
Zakaria, Fareed. 2015. "Iraq War Was a Terrible Mistake." Opinion editorial piece on CNN.com plus short flash video (3.5')
Zakaria interviews PM Tony Blair (CNN, 6'), - Does Blair still defend the decision to enter Iraq with the US?
- Does he apologize that the intelligence on WMD was wrong, and for mistakes in planning for occupation?
- Does he do so for the decision to remove Saddam Hussein?
- Does he also argue that subsequent policies in the region have succeeded?
Zakaria, Fareed. 2015. "Long road to hell: America in Iraq," full documentary film shown on CNN Monday 26 Oct. at 8 pm CST, and subsequently.
- Did the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 backfire in increased violence and instability?
- Did the US imprisonment of Islamic radicals enable al-Baghdadi to create and train ISIS?



How dangerous is reporting from a war zone?
- What methods can reduce insecurity while reporting from a war zone?

Clarissa Ward appeared Oct. 2015 on CNN for the first time, with an unusually sophisticated video package of reporting from the 'front lines' of the Kurds in Syria. In this 2011 clip she explains how she contradicted an ISIS chief by showing him a video of his men massacring captives.
A dangerous interview (2011)
Clarissa Ward's CNN debut from Syria (2015)
Her Distinguished Lecture at Stony Brook (Youtube, 60', 2013)
CBS interview with Clarissa Ward about security for a correspondent (4', 2015)



Conflict in the South China Sea
- How can we deploy force to send preventive signals?

Sciutto, Jim and Barbara Starr. 2015. "U.S. destroyer to pass islands in South China Sea within 24 hours", plus short flash video (4')
Sciutto, Jim. 2015. "US Navy to Send a Ship to China," CNN, with short flash video
- Will a demonstration of force trigger a violent struggle?
- How does this compare with signals sent to North Korea to release the sailors from the USS Pueblo in 1968-9? Lecture


The terrorist attacks in Paris, 2015
Were the terrorist attacks in Paris on 11/14/15, coordinated and well executed?
 

Map of the attacks in Paris, Nov. 2015 | Charlie Hebdo attacks, Jan. 2015
Map of the Schengen zone (without border controls)
Map of travel routes from Bataclan, Paris, to Stade-de-France, St. Denis
Street & Metro map of northern half of Paris (zoom to Oberkampf Metro)
Metro map only, topological and zoomable
- Timeline, weapons, perpetrators, locations, targets, casualties
- What does this tell you about the terrorists' strategy and goals?
- What does this tell you about the necessary counter terrorism measures?

Your Tourist visit to Paris via Metro
Treasure hunt directions and images of tourist landmarks are in a Google Form. Google Form
Subway systems (except the London Tube) often expect you to pick a line by number and color, plus a direction by the name of the terminal station in that direction.
So, give directions by line #, color, and terminal station.

Updated Event Comparing gasoline price, using specific questions in Google Form:
- In Google Form, compare costs of car to train on a specific route in UK for 4 adults.
You will need to search the web for the following
- Mileage on the route (Google maps)
- Current price of a litre of petrol (gasoline) for a car in England (at MyTravelCost.com (global prices)  or TheAA.com (compares UK to Eurozone).
- Mileage per UK gallon of a Ford Focus 1.4 L car (carsfuelconsumption.com)
- Train day return prices per adult between two cities (thetrainline.com)
- Exchange rate of £/$ (usforex.com, xe.com or similar)
 


Comparing gasoline and petrol prices:
If the different exercise is provided on a Google form, follow that one.
Note, from 2016, Google itself returns prices and conversions on its home search page, making this much simpler.
Search for the current price of a litre of petrol (gasoline) for a car in England. [e.g., in summer 2013 it was about £1.88 /litre; in October 2013 only £1.37].
Step 1: find this online, e.g. at MyTravelCost.com (global prices)  or TheAA.com (which compares UK to Eurozone)
Step 2: Multiply this by 4 to get the price per US gallon (because 4 litres make a US gallon)
Step 3: Find an exchange rate calculator (e.g. at USforex.com)
Step 4: Multiply the result of step 2 by the $/Pound exchange rate (in 2015 was $1.59) to get the current UK petrol price per US gallon.
- At about $6-7 per US gallon, between winter and summer, what effects does that have on the economy?
Step 5: Now do the same for a litre of essence/benzene (gasoline) in the Eurozone, multiply the €/litre price by 4 and then convert by the Dollar/Euro exchange rate today (e.g. $1.34 on 11 Nov. 2013) to give the European price of gas at the pump.

Global graph of the Euro cost of a litre of unleaded gasoline in many countries
- Where is the USA found in gasoline cost rankings, according to its official figures for last month?
- Where are the Europeans found in the rankings?
- Why do Europeans drive smaller engined cars, and for shorter distances than Americans?
- Why do they often take public transport?
- Why do they often drive cars on diesel instead of gasoline?




Financial and Digital Inclusion Project
- Can countries provide digital means of helping poor people trade, make payments and bank?
- Does this speed development?

The 2017 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project, summary with chart of rankings (scroll down). Brookings Institution, 2017 Report announcement and seminar, CSPAN video (from Darrell West at 1'38" till 16'21", when announcement ends)

- How are countries ranked?
- How could financial inclusion transform villages and increase economic growth?
- How does digital inclusion tie into this?
- Could economic development leapfrog a country over more developed countries?

Brookings: Inclusion in India: Unpacking the 2015 FDIP Report & Scorecard
- How many Indians are "unbanked?"
- How seriously did the Modi government press the plan for financial inclusion?
- How well was the plan adopted by the people?




Corruption and freedom: world rankings
Transparency International: perceptions of corruption, annual report with interactive map
Freedom House: freedom of the press, free elections, checks and balances in political institutions, annual report with interactive map
Small teams each explore a region of the world
- Which are the high and low countries on each index?
- Can we generalize about corruption and freedom in each region?




Global sports and politics issues

Schofield, Daniel. 2017. "England players plan to donate £1,000 each to bankrupt Samoan Rugby Union," Telegraph, UK, 11/8/17
- Should England Rugby Union Players donate to Samoans?
- What are the disparities in income between players from the Global North and South?
- Should host nations who take financial risks, keep the profits from their global sports events?
- Follow up: did the players actually donate?

Telegraph Sport. 2017. "Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted me, says former US goalkeeper Hope Solo." Telegraph.co.uk, 11/11/17

- What is the fairest response when one has been touched sexually in private: to accuse the 'toucher' publicly or privately?
- Is the standard of behavior between the sexes universal, or is feminism a US cultural imposition on some other countries?
- Follow up: how was this accusation resolved by FIFA? Compared to other accusations of corruption in FIFA, how much impact did this accusation have? What other behavioral issues have come up with Hope Solo?

Beauchamp, Zack. 2017. "The purge in Saudi Arabia explained." Vox 11/06/17
- What form of government runs Saudi Arabia?
- What is the rank or status of MbS and of the people he accuses and arrests?
- Are the arrests more about reducing corruption or more about securing power over others?
- Follow up: did MbS continue to purge opponents and dissenters, or did he mellow?
- How did the US - both a close ally and a believer in free speech - respond to MbS's purges?



Climate Change issues

Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador to the UN