UK: Defend working-class interests against the Tory wolves in sheep’s clothing

Morning Star | December 19, 2019

WITH all the false humility he can muster — which is a great deal indeed — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been talking of the votes he received ‘on loan’ from former Labour supporters.

Attracted by the Tory slogan to “Get Brexit Done,” their protest against Labour’s disastrous move towards a “Stop Brexit” stance played a major part in deciding the outcome of this month’s general election.Read More »

Cuba: National Assembly of People’s Power Fourth Ordinary Period of Sessions

| December 20, 2019

Photo: Juvenal Balán
With the presence of Political Bureau members Army General Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee; Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, President of the Republic; Esteban Lazo Hernandez, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power; and Second Party Secretary Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, the Fourth Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Ninth Legislature began.

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The Cuban economy has advanced without neoliberal prescriptions

Granma | December 18, 2019

The best answers can be provided by workers, who are on the front lines of production. Photo: Ortelio González Martínez
Given the complex international situation Cuba faces, marked by the intensification of hostile U.S. policy, the nation has resisted and achieved positive results, insisted the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during a meeting of the Economic Affairs Committee.

“Boosting the Cuban economy is everyone’s task,” he said, “We need to propose, think, implement solutions, concretize concepts in order to reanimate and promote.”

In this eagerness, let us not miss the opportunity to conduct a deep critical analysis, to enhance local development. This will be the best response to the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, he reflected.

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India: Uttarakhand dams jeopardise Ganga’s free flow

by Banjot Kaur

Down To Earth | November 20, 2019

Let it flow
 Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd, which owns the Vishnuprayag dam in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, says the new discharge norms will result in huge revenue loss (Photograph Courtesy: Ganga Matu Jansangthan)

The future of government-prescribed minimum water discharge guidelines for the Ganga appears to be in jeopardy.

These environmental flow (e-flow) norms stipulate the volume of water that dams and barrages must release to allow the river to naturally clean itself and protect its aquatic biodiversity. The e-flow norms were notified in September 2018 by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the apex body responsible for the cleaning and rejuvenation of the river, and are to be enforced from December 15, 2019.Read More »

India: Scheme to interlink rivers on fast track, govt tells Parliament

by Shagun Kapil

Down To Earth | November 22, 2019

The scheme to interlink rivers across India is on the fast track. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
 A panoramic view of the Ken river. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Centre’s ambitious project to interlink rivers is on fast track and the work on at least four such projects is set to start soon as the detailed project reports (DPRs) are ready, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry said in a written reply in Parliament on November 21, 2019.

The Ken-Betwa, Damanganga-Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, and Godavari-Cauvery links had been selected for preparing DPRs and the final reports for the first three had been sent to the respective states, the reply said.

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India: 4 out of 10 rural households travel every day for drinking water

by Shagun Kapil

Down To Earth | November 26, 2019

Womwn, water, rural, India
 Women in rural India walk over 1.5 km to fetch drinking water. Photo: Salahuddin

Close to 42 per cent rural households travel every day to fetch drinking water. The distance they cover ranges from less than 0.2 km (30.4 per cent households) to over 1.5 km (0.5 per cent households) one way, suggests the recently released 76th round of National Sample Survey Office. This means rural India has households whose members travel more than 3 km (round trip from the primary water source) each day to get water. A rough calculation suggests that these households cover a distance of over 1,000 km a year—one way trip from Delhi to Patna by road—to get drinking water.

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Indus river system among world’s most vulnerable ‘water towers’: Study

by Rajat Ghai

Down To Earth | December 10, 2019

Indus river system among world’s most vulnerable ‘water towers’: Study
 The Indus river in Punjab, Pakistan. Photo: Getty Images

The Indus river and its tributaries, which flow through parts of China, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, are among the most vulnerable ‘water towers’ in the world, a new study has said.

The study, led by Walter Immerzeel and Arthur Lutz from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, has been published in the journal Nature on December 9, 2019.

Immerzeel and Lutz were part of a 32-member scientific team from around the world, who assessed the Earth’s 78 mountain glacier–based water systems and ranked them in order of their importance to adjacent lowland communities, as well as their vulnerability to future environmental and socioeconomic changes.

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