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71 journalists killed in 2015: PEC report

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Geneva: A total of 71 journalists were killed from January to June of 2015 in 24 countries, a 7 percent increase over the same period last year, a Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) report said.

At least 24 journalists were killed in targeted terrorist acts, mostly in France, Libya and Iraq, and 17 journalists died covering fighting in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and Ukraine.

The other 30 journalists were murdered in criminal acts outside war zones, especially in Latin America, the Philippines and India, the report said.

According to the report, the Middle East and North Africa are the deadliest regions for media work with 23 journalists killed, Xinhua reported.

“Four countries in this region are the deadliest: Libya (eight), Yemen (six), Iraq (six) and Syria (two) and Gaza (one),” the report said.

It said fewer and fewer journalists were taking the risk to cover Syria because of the extreme dangers.

Latin America follows the Middle East with 17 journalists killed in seven countries, especially in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

According to the report, Europe comes in the third place with 13 deaths. It is the first time Europe lost so many journalists since the war in ex-Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

Eight journalists were killed during the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris, and four others in Ukraine, while one more journalist was killed in an isolated crime in Poland.

Africa is in fourth place with nine journalists killed mainly due to the war in South Sudan where six journalists died, five of them ambushed together.

In an earlier report, PEC said 2014 had become the second deadliest year for journalists over 10 years, with at least 138 journalists killed by the end of the year.

Founded in June 2004 and based in Geneva, PEC says it aims to strengthen the legal protection and safety of journalists in zones of conflict and civil unrest or in dangerous missions.

(IANS)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)