Archive for November 21st, 2017

21/11/2017

A History of Idiocy

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

18/11/2017

I am furious. And I have good reason to be furious.

397px-UriAvnery

Uri Avnery

I was going to write an article about a subject I have been thinking about for a long time.

This week I opened the New York Times and lo, my yet unwritten article appeared on its opinion pages in full, argument after argument.

How come? I have only one explanation: the author – I have forgotten the name – has stolen the ideas from my head by some magical means, which surely must be branded as criminal. A person once tried to kill me for doing the same thing to him.

So I have decided to write this article in spite of everything.

THE SUBJECT is idiocy. Particularly, the role of idiocy in history.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that sheer stupidity plays a major role in the history of nations.

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21/11/2017

An Escalating Afghan Crisis of ‘Profit’ over ‘Life’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Hakim Young, MD*

20 November 2017 – TRANSCEND Media Service – “My family’s water well has dried up,” 18-year-old Surkh Gul said.

Surkh Gul with her daughter.
Photo by Dr Hakim

“Ours too,” echoed 13-year-old Inaam.

A distressed Surkh Gul lamented, “We have to fetch water from the public well along the main road, but that water is muddy, not fit for drinking. I get bottled water for my two-year-old daughter. At least someone in the family should stay healthy.”

Inaam chipped in, “Fortunately, for now, the water that we fetch from a nearby mosque is clean.”

A U.S. and Afghan Geological Survey of Kabul Basin’s water resources found that about half of the shallow groundwater supply wells could become dry by 2050 due to declining recharge and stream-flows under projected climate change.

For years, the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees has also highlighted this water crisis to the Afghan government.

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21/11/2017

Desperate Need to Halt ‘World’s Largest Killer’ — Pollution

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Nov 20 2017 (IPS) – Now that the lights of the UN climate change summit’s meeting rooms have been turned off in Bonn, after a week of intense negotiations and some partial results, another major environmental event is now scheduled in Nairobi, this time to search for ways to halt the world’s major killer – pollution.

Birds scavenging for food amidst the debris at the landfill in Danbury, Connecticut in the United States. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The argument is clear: every part of the planet and every person is affected by pollution, “the world’s largest killer,” and while solutions are within reach, new policies, enhanced public and private sector leadership, redirected investments and massive funding are all “desperately” needed, a major UN report has warned.

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21/11/2017

World Toilet Day: Focus on Sanitation, Wastewater Treatment

Human Wrongs Watch

Even in wealthier countries, where people have access to toilets and faecal material is contained, treatment and final disposal of wastewater can be far from perfect, leading to polluted rivers and coastlines, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a World Toilet Day event on 20 November 2017.

The French Red Cross provides water, sanitation and toilets for 11,000 IDPs at the Centre d’Hebergement Provisoire Automica Dahaitsu in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo: MINUSTAH

 “Where does our poo go? […] This year’s Toilet Day observance encourages people to think about the sanitation chain,” said Mohammed in her remarks at a panel discussion on toilets and wastewater, co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Singapore, UN-Water and the International Chamber of Commerce.
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