Thursday, May 17, 2018

Water shortages to be key environmental challenge of the century, Nasa warns


Water shortages to be key environmental challenge of the century, Nasa warns | Environment | The Guardian

Water shortages are likely to be the key environmental challenge of this century, scientists from Nasa have warned, as new data has revealed a drying-out of swaths of the globe between the tropics and the high latitudes, with 19 hotspots where water depletion has been dramatic.

Areas in northern and eastern India, the Middle East, California and Australia are among the hotspots where overuse of water resources has caused a serious decline in the availability of freshwater that is already causing problems. Without strong action by governments to preserve water the situation in these areas is likely to worsen


(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/16/water-shortages-to-be-key-environmental-challenge-of-the-century-nasa-warns

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The truth about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal | World news | The Guardian

Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Photograph: AP

Deep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran's atomic projects are under constant international monitoring.

The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It's just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing.

Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence.

When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as "outdated and childish" a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason. Read More

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Increasing Likelihood Of Nuclear War Should Straighten Out All Our Priorities


A Russian pilot has been killed by US-armed terrorists in Syria. The Ron Paul Institute‘s Daniel McAdams writes the following about this new development:

“The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.”

McAdams is not fearmongering; he is stating a plainly obvious fact. The Trump administration has just announced that it is restructuring its nuclear weapons policy to take a more aggressive stance toward Russia than that which was held by the previous administration. This is coming after this administration’s decision to arm Ukraine against Russia, a move Obama refused to take for fear of escalating tensions with Moscow, as well as its decision to continue to occupy Syria in order to effect regime change, along with numerous other escalations. The Council on Foreign Relations, which is without exaggeration as close to the voice of the US establishment as you can possibly get, is now openly admitting that the “United States is currently in a second Cold War with Russia. Read More

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tackling water security: Who owns the right to groundwater?

Tariq said that to understand water security there is a need to understand water scarcity. He explained, “The global yardstick for water scarcity is that if you have 1,700 cubic metres per person, per year then you are in a very comfortable water regime.”

He added that the moment this amount reduces, you start getting into water stress situations, water shortages and water scarcity.

“Plant the water, as the best place to store water is underground”

“The surplus water available for Pakistan doesn’t last for more than 30 days.” He elaborated that for the rest of the 335 days, Pakistan is in a semi-drought or drought-like condition.

The PWP CEO said that for an arid country like Pakistan there is a need to have 40% surface water storage. However, he deplored that the country has only 7% storage to counter the problem. He added that this is also reducing due to sedimentation, which leaves a big question mark on the country’s water security. More

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trump’s Request for India’s Help in Afghanistan Rattles Pakistan

Trump’s Request for India’s Help in Afghanistan Rattles Pakistan - The New York Times

However, Maria Sultan, a defense analyst based in Islamabad and director general of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, said the Trump policy was “not as bad as we were expecting. The responsibility has been essentially shifted to Afghanistan.”

She warned that intelligence-based operations against groups inside Pakistan might increase. “This will further reduce the space for cooperation between Pakistan and U.S. and will be counterproductive for a long-term relationship,” Ms. Sultan said. More

Thursday, June 15, 2017

US Releases Long-Awaited Documents on 1953 Coup in Iran

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, (undated photo).

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2017 – The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation. The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. The volume is part of the Department’s venerable Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.

For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities. Kermit Roosevelt’s Countercoup is the best known and most detailed such account, although highly controversial because of its selective rendering of events. In 2000, The New York Times posted a 200-page classified internal CIA history of the operation.
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