News in the Humanosphere: India and Pakistan on the verge of water war

View of Zero Bridge and Aramwari in India. (Credit: Varun Shiv Kapur/flickr)

Rising tensions between India and Pakistan could spike into a “water war” if India fails to follow through on a treaty that regulates a river that flows between the two countries, a Pakistani official said Tuesday. The divisions between the two nations have again mounted despite attempts to create peace. Many had hoped that 2016 would be a year of unity after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi late last year, but old tensions have dashed some of those hopes. The strain between the two nations spiked again earlier this month after 17 Indian soldiers died in the disputed Kashmir region. India alleges that Pakistan is responsible, and Mr. Modi is weighing retaliation through manipulating water flow on three rivers that connect the two countries to favor India. (CSM http://bit.ly/2cTC5xi)

Battle for Aleppo intensifies… With international diplomacy in tatters and the U.S. focused on its election, the Syrian government and its Russian allies are seizing the moment to wage an all-out campaign to recapture Aleppo, unleashing the most destructive bombing of the past five years and pushing into the center of the Old City. Desperate residents describe horrific scenes in Syria’s largest city and one-time commercial center, with hospitals and underground shelters hit by indiscriminate airstrikes that the U.N. said may amount to a war crime. Debris covers streets lined with bombed-out buildings, trapping people in their neighborhoods and hindering rescue workers. On Tuesday, activists reported at least 11 people killed in airstrikes on two districts in the rebel-held part of Aleppo. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2cTznZ1)

Africa

Zimbabwe police fired teargas at stone-throwing vendors resisting removal from city streets on Tuesday in the latest flare-up of protests against President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year rule. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2cATKxQ)

Riot police fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse Kenyan university students protesting over road safety. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ddH9i8)

South Sudan’s government urged Sudan and regional states on Tuesday not to let opposition leader Riek Machar launch a new rebellion, after he threatened a return to the battlefield unless demands needed to revive a peace deal were met. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpI8KV)

War crimes judges on Tuesday sentenced a former Islamist rebel who admitted wrecking holy shrines during Mali’s 2012 conflict to nine years in prison, in the first such case to focus on destruction of cultural heritage. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpDTio)

Taking away school meals from 180,000 pupils going back to class in Mali, where insecurity has closed schools in the north, may deprive even more children of an education, the U.N. World Food Program said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpJ0PB)

More children are likely to survive tuberculosis, the leading infectious disease killer, after Kenya introduces child-friendly medicines on Oct. 1 – the first country in the world to do so. (VOA http://bit.ly/2d4vYM4)

The death toll from militia clashes with security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week was at least 49, more than three times the number earlier reported, the governor of the province hit by the violence was quoted on Monday as saying. (VOA http://bit.ly/2dpJvZW)

Villagers in Malawi have been forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for coal and uranium mines and consequently face serious problems accessing safe water, according to a Human Rights Watch report, which claims that the government lacks adequate safeguards to protect those affected. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2d7q7Dz)

Kenya is taking steps to replace commissioners on the electoral oversight body, the government said on Tuesday, part of a deal with the opposition to resolve a row that led to protests and violence earlier this year. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2d4xBcJ)

MENA

A series of bomb blasts has killed at least 15 people and wounded 55 others in Baghdad, according to police and medics. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2cTAzvm)

Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday it has probed a deadly air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on a Yemen hospital and found that the attack was “unjustified and unprovoked”. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2dpJLIp)

The World Health Organization and Red Cross called on Tuesday for dozens of sick and wounded people in the embattled eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo to be evacuated through safe corridors for treatment. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpDbSe)

Asia

The Philippines has ordered the suspension of 20 more mines for environmental violations, as the world’s top supplier of nickel ore vowed to pursue stricter standards than in global mining centers such as Canada and Australia. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2cIYJec)

Pakistan would treat it as “an act of war” if India revoked the Indus Water Treaty regulating river flows between the two nations, Pakistan’s top foreign official said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2d4vgyk)

The Asian Development Bank says the economies of developing countries in Asia are holding up despite stubborn global headwinds, and that earlier forecasts that the countries as a group will grow 5.7 percent in 2016 and 2017 remain unchanged. The group grew 5.9 percent in 2015. (VOA http://bit.ly/2cANKp1)

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament has passed a landmark bill giving its small Hindu minority the right to register marriages, the last major hurdle on the way to enacting a law aimed at protecting women’s rights. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2d4oKYE)

The body of a newspaper editor killed seven years ago was exhumed Tuesday for a fresh investigation as Sri Lanka’s government looks anew at multiple unsolved killings of journalists under a previous government. (AP http://yhoo.it/2cIZ68I)

A court in southern China’s industrial heartland on Tuesday passed down suspended sentences to three labor organizers who led strikes to demand better working conditions, in the latest move by ruling Communist Party authorities to rein in civil society. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d4nZii)

Fast-growing aviation powerhouse India is not ready to join the world’s first climate deal to curb pollution from commercial flights because it fears that talks beginning on Tuesday may not lead to a fair agreement, its civil aviation minister said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2cIZAvr)

Developing economies in Asia will have to spend $300 billion a year until 2050 to meet targets set by the Paris climate deal, but can expect to save thousands of lives and avoid worsening poverty if they shift to low-carbon growth, research showed on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpJ8id)

The Americas

An internal committee of Mexico’s governing party said Monday that it decided to strip party rights from one of its state governors under federal investigation for corruption. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d4s6uO)

The leader of the FARC rebel group has apologized to the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict which ended with Monday’s signing of a peace deal. (BBC http://bbc.in/2dpIhhp)

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission has determined that soldiers killed six civilians without justification in a 2012 incident in the southern state of Guerrero. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ddIhlI)

The U.S. Senate stumbled over a must-do bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend and to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats, demanding money so that Flint, Michigan can address its man-made water crisis, overwhelmingly opposed the measure, as did a host of the chamber’s most conservative members. (AP http://yhoo.it/2cASESN)

…and the rest

Turkey has dismissed 87 staff from its spy agency over alleged links to the failed July 15 coup, state media said Tuesday, in the first purge of one of the country’s most powerful institutions. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2cATRJF)

Asylum seekers are being mistreated in Hungary and its asylum system is “blatantly designed” to deter refugees from seeking protection there, rights group Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d4ozMX)

The World Trade Organization dramatically slashed its forecast for trade growth this year by about a third to its lowest rate since 2009, when the global economy was mired in recession in the wake of the financial crisis. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d4piO1)

More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d4mMrf)

Greenpeace activists on Tuesday blocked operations of Malaysian palm oil trader IOI at Rotterdam Port, accusing it of forest destruction and child labor, but other traffic at Europe’s busiest port was unaffected, a port spokesman said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dhWk7Y)

A group of 15 European energy-intensive industry associations called in a statement on Tuesday for the European Parliament to reject a tiered approach to handing out free EU carbon permits to industry and to keep full free allocation. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2dpJEwH)

Opinion/Blogs

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Election Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UN Dispatch http://buff.ly/2ddKcGT)

Guterres extends lead in race for next U.N. Secretary-General (Humanosphere http://buff.ly/2dpLL3r)

Secret aid worker: This is what happens when an NGO worker goes to the UN (Guardian http://bit.ly/2ddI2aq)

Is the EU Financing Genocide in Sudan? (Roving Bandit http://bit.ly/2d4xb69)

4 ways to strengthen family planning programs (Devex http://buff.ly/2di7Fol)

Time to rethink Soc Accountability? (From Poverty to Power http://buff.ly/2ddJCZI)

Young Syrian With A Dream Risks His Life To Film New Netflix Doc (Goats and Soda http://buff.ly/2cAV2ch)

DfID ‘should have done more’ to give poor countries a voice on tax evasion (Guardian http://buff.ly/2ddJKbI)

The danger of researching ‘in silos’: lessons from the Chinese famine of 1876-9 (Reinventing Peace http://buff.ly/2di77yP)

South-south cooperation at work: Inside Thailand’s aid (Devex http://buff.ly/2di8oGc)

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