Tory chaos shakes UK unity and stirs mockery abroad

Tory chaos shakes UK unity and stirs mockery abroad

Britain’s Conservative Party won a landslide in 2019. Now the Tories and their elite are the butt of jokes overseas as polls point to possible humiliation. 10 Downing Street, the official residence and office of the British Prime Minister, in London, 20 October...

Politics can seem boring to some young people. But in Britain it is anything but. Correspondent Barry Moody takes us through the musical chairs of British prime ministers and shows how political divisions inside the British government over Brexit, taxes and the economy could lead to a breakup of the United Kingdom. 

Exercise: Create teams of five. Each team should choose one member to be prime minister. The other four students should each take on the roles of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They should each do some basic research on their region’s current relationship with the British government. The student who is the prime minister will research and consider the importance of having these countries united into one government. Together they will create a poster that explains the individual identities of the four countries and how they benefit or are disadvantaged by their subordination to a united government.

Gorbachev: Reflections on a statesman who shaped history

Gorbachev: Reflections on a statesman who shaped history

Alternately revered and vilified, Mikhail Gorbachev shaped history as the last Soviet leader. Our correspondents recall his impact and legacy. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev waves during a military parade marking the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Red...

At a time of sharp division between the West and Russia, News Decoder remembers an era when another intractable divide was bridged. At the height of the Cold War, two adversaries, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, forged an agreement to reduce nuclear arms. Alternately revered and vilified, Gorbachev shaped history as the last Soviet leader and the one whose decisions helped lift the Iron Curtain. To mark Gorbachev’s death, News Decoder correspondents who covered the collapse of the Soviet Union examine how the former Soviet leader’s legacy has evolved over time.

Exercise: Gorbachev left an ambiguous legacy. He is heralded in much of the West but viewed less favorably in Russia. Can your student’s identify other historical or contemporary figures who are viewed in a contradictory way? What’s at the root of such contradictory perspectives?

In Africa, rising youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb

In Africa, rising youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb

One out of three young Africans is unemployed, and the youth population will double by 2050. How can Africa create jobs for the young and avoid unrest? A man holds a poster marking South Africa’s Youth Day holiday in Soweto, South Africa, 16 June 2020. (AP...

Marshaling official reports and authoritative data, correspondent Stella Mapenzauswa lifts the lid on one of Africa’s biggest challenges – youth unemployment. On a continent as large and diverse as Africa, it can be perilous to generalize across borders, but Mapenzauswa puts her finger on a problem that threatens numerous governments and societies there. Not satisfied with merely identifying the problem, the experienced journalist from southern Africa glimpses a solution in “hustling” – young Africans using whatever skills they have to earn money as entrepreneurs. Some of the best journalism identifies both problems and solutions.

Exercise: Ask your students to identify a critical problem facing their local community, assessing its economic and social impact, and then to list possible solutions and the attendant costs.

Decoder: Armenia in a bind as Ukraine war resets global order

Decoder: Armenia in a bind as Ukraine war resets global order

A conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is heating up as the war in Ukraine prompts geopolitical realignments, with implications for outside powers including the West and Russia. Azerbaijani soldiers carry portraits of soldiers killed during fighting over...

“It is easy to pay little attention or to even ignore regional conflicts, but they can hold the key to understanding larger political currents in the world.” Correspondent Bryson Hull’s words remind us of why a simmering conflict in the Caucuses between Armenia and Azerbaijan has potential implications for all of us. News Decoder is premised on the notion that young people know a great deal, through headlines on their screens, about what is happening in the world but, because they are young, can have difficulty connecting the dots and understanding why far-away events matter to them. Hull offers a clear explanation of why fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh appears periodically in those headlines, and then disappears, only to reappear some day, like so many other intractable conflicts in distant places.

Exercise: Ask your students to identify a regional conflict that became a proxy for armed competition involving stronger powers.

Politics