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New age of water wars portends ‘bleak future’

New age of water wars portends ‘bleak future’

Behind the escalating violence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as the epidemic of civil unrest across the wider region, is a growing shortage of water.

New peer-reviewed research published by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) shows that water scarcity linked to climate change is now a global problem playing a direct role in aggravating major conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Numerous cities in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia are facing “short and declining water supplies per capita,” which is impacting “worldwide” on food production, urban shortages, and even power generation.

In this month’s issue of the Journal of the AWWA, US water management expert Roger Patrick assesses the state of the scientific literature on water scarcity in all the world’s main regions, finding that local water shortages are now having “more globalised impacts”.

He highlights the examples of “political instability in the Middle East and the potential for the same in other countries” as illustrating the increasing “global interconnectedness” of water scarcity at local and regional levels.

In 2012, a US intelligence report based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate on water security, commissioned by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, concluded that after 2022, droughts, floods and freshwater depletion would increase the likelihood of water being used as a weapon or war, or a tool of terrorism.

The new study in the Journal of the AWWA, however, shows that the US intelligence community is still playing catch-up with facts on the ground. Countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where US counter-terrorism operations are in full swing, are right now facing accelerating instability from terrorism due to the destabilising impacts of unprecedented water shortages.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Great War of the American Empire or Great War II

Great War of the American Empire or Great War II

Looking at a map of current American military engagements overseas, one cannot help but notice their wide geographical spread and their seemingly interminable nature. Battles have raged in Europe (Yugoslavia and Ukraine), in Africa, in the Middle East, and in central Asia. The American Empire has launched this country into a series of battles that have no end in sight and no location that may not become a focal point of military force. These battles, each a war in its own right, have drawn in forces and resources from U.S. allies in Europe through NATO and even drawn in Japan. The scope of this war is global. In fact, one part of this war has been called the Global War on Terror. To understand this war and grasp its meaning, in the hope of bringing it to an end, a descriptive name is needed that tells us what this war is about. The name suggested here is the “Great War of the American Empire”. Since World War I, another disastrous war that American joined, is called the Great War, we can refer to the Great War of the American Empire also as Great War II.

Great War II comprises a number of sub-wars. The American Empire is the common element and the most important driver in all the sub-wars mentioned below. American involvement has never been necessary in these sub-wars, but the decisions to make them America’s business have come from the Empire’s leaders. The name “Great War of the American Empire” emphasizes the continuity of all the sub-wars to produce one Great War, and the responsibility of the American Empire in choosing to participate in and create this Great War. Had America’s leaders chosen the radically different path of non-intervention and true defense of this continent, rather than overseas interventions, Great War II would not have occurred and not still be occurring.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Malawi faces ‘unprecedented’ flood disaster – Africa – Al Jazeera English

Malawi faces ‘unprecedented’ flood disaster – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

The waters may be receding and the rainfall subsiding but Malawi is only now coming to terms with the “unprecendented” floods that hit the southern half of the country last week.

At least 176 people lost their lives and another 200,000 have been displaced when heavy rains submerged homes, schools, and in places, washing away an entire village.

The Malawi Defence Force has reportedly rescued at least 4,000 people, but there are fears that many more still need help. At least 153 people are unaccounted for.

“It has shocked all of us: from government, to donors to the people,” Robert Kisyula, national director of international NGO World Vision Malawi, told Al Jazeera on Saturday. “People hung on to trees,waiting for the waters to subside, as they usualy do, but water kept on coming and they were washed away.

“These were unprecedented floods, don’t let anyone you otherwise,” he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Louis Freeh’s Latest Investigation: Billionaire Businessman Accused of Bribing African Government – The Intercept

Louis Freeh’s Latest Investigation: Billionaire Businessman Accused of Bribing African Government – The Intercept.

Louis Freeh, the former FBI director whose wife was deeded half of a $3 million beachside penthouse by a businessman–just nine days after Freeh cleared that same businessman of wrongdoing–is onto a new job: Helping exonerate a billionaire businessman accused of bribing an African government.

As I reported here the other day, Freeh has made piles of money since leaving government service by hiring himself out to conduct allegedly independent corporate and political investigations.  These investigations are clearly a growth business, because now Freeh’s firm is helping coordinate the defense of an Israeli billionaire who is being investigated on three continents in regard to bribes he allegedly paid to win a mining stake in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The case involves Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who controls BSGR, a holding company that in 2008 obtained a huge stake in a gigantic iron mine in the West African nation of Guinea. BSGR reportedly paid nothing for its rights to Simandou and two years later flipped 51% of its stake to a Brazilian mining giant for $2.5 billion – twice the size of Guinea’s annual budget. The deal was consummated two weeks before the death of Lansana Conté, a homicidal dictator who had ruled since a 1984 coup.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BBC News – First Ebola boy likely infected by playing with bats

BBC News – First Ebola boy likely infected by playing with bats.

The Ebola victim who is believed to have triggered the current outbreak – a two-year-old boy called Emile Ouamouno from Guinea – may have been infected by playing in a hollow tree housing a colony of bats, say scientists.

They made the connection on an expedition to the boy’s village, Meliandou.

They took samples and chatted to locals to find out more about Ebola’s source.

The team’s findings are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Ebola trail

Meliandou is a small village of 31 houses.

It sits deep within the Guinean forest region, surrounded by towering reeds and oil palm cultivations – these are believed to have attracted the fruit bats carrying the virus passed on to Emile.

During their four-week field trip in April 2014, Dr Fabian Leendertz and colleagues found a large tree stump situated about 50m from Emile’s home.

Villagers reported that children used to play frequently in the hollow tree.

Emile – who died of Ebola in December 2013 – used to play there, according to his friends.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Uranium Mine Sludge Discharge Permit Threatens Lake Malawi | Environment News Service

Uranium Mine Sludge Discharge Permit Threatens Lake Malawi | Environment News Service.

KARONGA, Malawi, November 25, 2014 (ENS) – Paladin Africa Ltd, which mines uranium ore in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga, has come under fire from a coalition of Malawian civil society groups and chiefs over its proposal to discharge mining sludge into the Sere and North Rukuru rivers.

The toxic substances that would flow from the tailings pond at the Kayelekera Uranium Mine into Lake Malawi 50 kilometers (30 miles) downstream include waste uranium rock, acids, arsenic and other chemicals used in processing the uranium ore, the coalition fears.

map

Lake Malawi in eastern Africa is the world’s ninth largest lake, some 580 kilometers (360 miles) long, and 75 kilometers (47 miles) wide at its widest point. It extends into Malawi’s neighbors Tanzania and Mozambique.

The lake provides water for drinking and domestic use to millions of Malawians. Part of the lake is protected as a national park, and it is inhabited by more than 850 cichlid fish species found nowhere else on Earth.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada bars visas from Ebola-hit countries – Americas – Al Jazeera English

Canada bars visas from Ebola-hit countries – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

Canada has suspended visa applications for residents and nationals of countries with “widespread transmission” of the Ebola virus, becoming the second nation after Australia to introduce such a measure.

The countries most severely hit by the worst Ebola outbreak ever are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Canada has not yet had a case of the disease.

The similar move by Australia was slammed on Wednesday by Dr Margaret Chan, the World Health Organisation’s director general, who said closing borders won’t stop spread of the Ebola virus.

Canadians, including healthcare workers, in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada, the government said.

Kevin Menard, a spokesman for Canada’s immigration ministry, said the government has “instituted a pause” in issuing visas for foreigners from risky countries, but noted “there was room for discretion if we can be assured that someone is not infected with the virus,” according to the Associated Press news agency.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Ebola Cases Top 10,000, Obama Says America Can “Beat” The Deadly Virus | Zero Hedge

As Ebola Cases Top 10,000, Obama Says America Can “Beat” The Deadly Virus | Zero Hedge.

Following the sad death of its first Ebola case, Mali’s President has said he will not close his nation’s border with Guinea, because “the incident showed it was impossible to completely seal his country.”

Mali’s neighbors, on the other hand, are shutting borders, as Mauritania tries not to become Africa’s 7th Ebola-infected country. This brings, according to The WHO, the number of cases of Ebola to 10,141 with 4,922 dead (so far).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Despite WHO’s Confidence, Mali Becomes 6th West African Nation With Ebola | Zero Hedge

Despite WHO’s Confidence, Mali Becomes 6th West African Nation With Ebola | Zero Hedge.

In yet another blow for the doctors fighting the spread of this deadly disease, AP reportsMali’s health minister says the West African country has confirmed its first case of Ebola. Despite every effort to close borders, quarantine areas, and now send US troops (to do… well we are not sure really), Mali becomes the sixth West African country to report an Ebola case.

Mauvaise Nouvelle EBOLA: Le Mali vient d’enregistrer son premier cas positif. Il s’agit d’une fillette de 2 ans( Ministère de la santé)

 

As AP reports,

Mali’s health minister says the West African country has confirmed its first case of Ebola.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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