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Politics

Public Health At least 10 children have been sickened and paralyzed by a polio outbreak in Syria, which World Health Organization officials fear could spread rapidly among young children in the war-torn country and its neighbors, Reuters reported. The disease can spread through contaminated food and water, and many children in Syria are now vulnerable […]

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Extreme Weather Suburbs, towns and farms outside of Rome flooded Wednesday after the Tiber River overflowed its banks and heavy rains backed up sewers and canals, Reuters reported. Widespread flooding has swamped Italy after strong storms passed through the country last weekend, killing four people. Farmers worry that increasingly frequent and severe flooding, coupled with […]

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Sea level rise and increasing floods are forcing families living on India’s Sundarbans islands to look to the mainland for a future, according to AlertNet. United States Consecutive years of drought have convinced some farmers in Kansas to give up on corn, Bloomberg News reported. The state planted the fewest acres of corn in three […]

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Congress adjourned until after the November elections, leaving quite a bit of work on the table for a short lame-duck session. In addition to anticipated debates about fiscal policy, there are a few water-related bills that might be considered at year’s end. In a hearing last week, Senate committee chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said she […]

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Asia Pakistan’s plans to divert 86 percent of the Neelum River’s water to produce hydropower could leave the Kashmir city of Muzaffarabad without enough river flow for drinking water and sewage disposal, AlertNet reported. Water quality is extremely poor in five of China’s major bays, including the Yangtze and Pearl River estuaries, according to an […]

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Under a new law, mining and oil companies in Peru will be required to hold talks with local communities about the effects of natural resource extraction on the environment and water supplies, Reuters reported. The law stops short of giving communities the power to veto potential projects. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez faces criticism from within […]

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Bulgaria should pursue shale gas in order to achieve energy independence, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to the country, according to EurActiv. In January, Bulgaria placed a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, which forces large quantities of chemicals and water into shale gas formations underground to release […]

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Tar Sands Map

However, the company building the pipeline will be invited to re-appl,y after finding a new route through Nebraska, according to a government official.

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Children in Nawa

Diplomatic cables show that the U.S. State Department aims to strike a balance between the need for diplomatic dances and the desire to produce tangible results from on-the-ground projects.

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Pakistan A high-level official from the U.S. State Department met with counterparts from Pakistan last month during the fourth water “dialogue” between the two countries. The U.S. government has given Pakistan money for irrigation, hydroelectric, and water supply projects under the Kerry-Berman-Lugar bill—legislation signed in 2009 that authorizes $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan. Pakistan […]

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Developing countries are bearing the brunt of environmental burdens — including drought, water pollution and extreme weather — with little help from prosperous countries, according to the United Nations Development Program’s newest annual report on worldwide quality of life, the Associated Press reported. The report also says that progress made in these developing countries could […]

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Marafiq Plant in Al Jubail

Classified cables show that Saudi and U.S. officials believe water supplies along the Persian Gulf are at high-risk for terrorist attacks and possible contamination from nearby nuclear plants. This is the first of a new series that will analyze the water-related U.S. embassy cables published by WikiLeaks.

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President Barack Obama

Included in the U.S. president’s proposed American Jobs Act is the BUILD Act, allocating $US 10 billion to create a National Infrastructure Bank, governed by an independent board, which would help attract private capital and lower the borrowing costs for public works projects of regional significance.

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Somalia Suffers from Severe Drought

Meteorologists are hopeful for future rainfall, though they say the current disaster was preventable. The lack of rain, which is also affecting neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, and political instability have tipped Somalia into a food crisis that could persist, even as drought conditions abate.

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Kader Asmal, South Africa's first democratic Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry, was a "tireless advocate for human rights," and shifted the country's policies to help bring water to arid rural lands and urban slums such as Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Photo ©J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue

When Nelson Mandela named South Africa’s first democratic Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry – a futile effort to keep his outspoken, irascible, chain-smoking friend out of trouble – Kader Asmal claimed ignorance about the rudimentary basics of his new portfolio.

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Tar Sands Map

Residents and lawmakers in Nebraska mull their options for protecting key groundwater sources.

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Dams in Brazil Despite calls for a moratorium, Brazil’s government continues full bore toward construction of the controversial Belo Monte dam. The human rights arm of the Organization of American States is the latest entity to be rebuffed, the BBC reports. A request to halt construction by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was rejected. […]

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A new era of dam building brings uncertainty to the 50-year-old water truce between India and Pakistan.

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The African country reaches out to its Nile Basin neighbor.

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This is a key time for California water: we are coming off of three years of serious drought and growing political conflict over water allocations.

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