Yale Environment 360: Ten countries at ‘extreme risk’ for water shortages

Desert
Desert
New research finds ten countries at “extreme risk” because of limited access to clean, fresh water. The ten countries include five African countries and countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, according to a Water Security Risk Index released by Maplecroft, a UK-based consulting firm.

The countries listed as at extreme risk for water shortages are Niger, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan.

“Climate change and increasing demands from population growth will cause a worsening of water stress over the coming decades,” said Anna Moss, environmental analyst at Maplecroft. “There is a risk of water stress exacerbating future risks of conflict, although there is evidence that water scarcity may also help foster cooperation instead, within and between states and up to regional levels.”

The countries with the most stable supplies of clean water include Iceland, Norway and New Zealand.

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NYT: Pakistan Jails Five American Men in Terrorism Case

A Pakistani court sentenced five American Muslim men to 10 years of labor in prison Thursday for conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks.

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AP: Cap collects some Gulf oil; crude washes into Fla.

Waves of gooey tar balls crashed into the white sands of the Florida Panhandle on Friday after BP succeeded in installing the containment dome over the leak late Thursday. Crude continued to spew into the sea but engineers hoped to close several open vents on the cap throughout the day and reduce the flow.

To put the cap in place, BP had to cut off the main pipe with giant shears after a diamond-edged saw became stuck. The procedure risked increasing the oil flow by as much as 20 percent but Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said it was too soon to tell if that had happened.

Allen said anecdotal evidence suggested the current rate of collection at 42,000 gallons of crude a day. “Once the containment cap is on and it’s working, we hope the rate [of oil spilling into the Gulf] is significantly reduced,” he said.

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Time: Israel: Iran, Syria, NKorea New ‘Axis of Evil’

North Korea, Syria, and Iran were declared the new “axis of evil” by Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman Wednesday. According to Mr. Lieberman, These countries pose the biggest threat to world security because they are cooperating in construction and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Lieberman claimed that North Korean weapons apprehended in Bangkok were intended for militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas. The Israeli foreign minister also claimed that North Korea provides vital assistance to Iran and Syria but gave no evidence. Israel has long accused Syria of aiding its enemies.

Lieberman also discussed direct Palestinian peace talks, which he said the Israeli government is prepared to start without preconditions.

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