Contemporary Issues

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					Contemporary Issues
Unit 11
Trouble in the Middle East
Arab-Israeli conflict and the oil crisis:
 U.S. supported Israel during the Yom Kippur
  War of 1973.
 In response, OPEC cut off its supply of oil to the
  U.S. (and other countries).
OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting
  Countries. Included: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi
  Arabia,Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, UAE,
  Algeria, and Nigeria at the time. It now has 12
Trouble in the Middle East
 At the  time, 1/3 of U.S. oil came from the
  Middle East
 This created an energy crisis, gasoline was
  very expensive and limited.
 The Yom Kippur War ended in October
  of 1973, but the oil embargo was not
  lifted until 1974.
 As a result, the U.S. looked for alternative
  forms of energy.
 Waiting   to
get gas.
Iran-Contra affair
 Under the  Reagan administration, Lt.
  Colonel Oliver North authorized the sale
  of weapons to Iran (a sworn enemy).
 This was to release American hostages
  held in Lebanon by Hezbollah terrorists.
 The U.S. gave the money they made from
  weapons sales to the “Contra” guerillas of
  Nicaragua, CIA-trained rebels of the
  communist government.
 Congress banned any    further support to
  the Contras, but the money from Iran
  arms sales kept coming.
 In 1986, the affair was exposed in the
  newspapers, and Congress launched an
  investigation of the Reagan administration
  (much like Nixon and Watergate).
 Reagan   and his administration covered-up
  their full actions.
 They did admit to knowing about the sale
  of arms to Iran but not the Contra
  financial support.
End of the Cold War
Fall of the Berlin Wall:
• In the late 1980s, eastern European
  communist countries begin revolting
  against the government (led by the Soviet
• Hoping to calm rising protests, the East
  German government opened the gates of
  the Berlin Wall.
Fall of the Berlin Wall
 People on both sides of the wall jumped
  up on top of it and started to tear it
 In October of 1990, East and West
  Germany were finally reunited, not under
The First Gulf War
 In August of 1990, Saddam Hussein
  invaded and captured the neighboring
  country of Kuwait.
 He wanted Kuwait’s wealth through oil
 His troops acted violently against the
  Kuwaiti people.
 The UN put sanctions on Iraq with a
  deadline for Iraq to withdraw from
Operation Desert Storm
 Iraq does not leave Kuwait
 On January 16, 1991, a U.S.-led attack
  began on Iraq
 The capital of Iraq, Baghdad, was captured
  within a few days.
 Saddam Hussein was hunted down and
  captured by U.S. forces.
 He was turned over to the Iraqi people
  to stand trial for mass murders.
September 11, 2001
 Terrorist group  al-Qaida, financed by
  Usama Bin Laden, launch a 4-pronged
  attack on major U.S. buildings using
  hijacked planes:
 World Trade Center (North and South
 The Pentagon
 The Capital Building
 The first 3 targets are hit, but passengers
  on United 93 prevent the 4th attack on
  the Capital Building.
 They crash the plane in a field instead.
 The Twin Towers collapse.
 President Bush responds by insisting that
  the Taliban in Afghanistan turn over Bin
 The Taliban  refuse, so the U.S. with Great
  Britain invaded Afghanistan in Oct. 2001.
 The Department of Homeland Security is
  created to prevent future terrorist
 USA Patriot Act is passed to allow
  enhanced interrogation of suspected
Operation Iraqi Freedom
 The U.S. determines Iraq   is a threat to its
  safety as well, considering the way Saddam
  Hussein evaded UN weapons inspectors
 Hussein is suspected of creating weapons
  of mass destruction.
 Hussein was captured in late 2003 and
  turned over to the Iraqi government to
  stand trial for murders of Iraqi people.
Economic issues
 World Bank: Created     to help poor
  countries build their economies. It
  provided grants of money and loans to
  help with projects that could provide jobs
  and wealth.
 European Union: Started in 1952, has
  grown to 27 countries (as of 2007).The
  many different countries of Europe have
  decided to join together and have one
The European Union:
500 million people – 27 countries
    The euro – a single currency for

                                  Can be used everywhere in the euro area

                                  4Coins: one side with national symbols,
                                   one side common

                                  4Notes: no national side

EU countries using the euro
EU countries not using the euro
Environmental issues
 Rachel Carson: Published a     book called
 Silent Spring to warn the public of the
 harmful effects of chemical pesticides
 (DDT) on the environment and possibly
 people.As a result, Congress passes the
 Clean Air Act; Safe Drinking Water Act.
 Earth   Day: First one (April 22, 1970),
  marks the birth of the modern
  environmental movement,“Save the
  planet!” Now there is an Earth Day every
  year to bring awareness of the need to
  protect the environment.
 Green Peace: International organization
  that prioritizes global and American
  environmental campaigns, such as: Save
  oceans, whales and seafood.

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