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India and Israel Share Many Similarities, says US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley

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Nikki Haley, Wikimedia

Washington, March 31, 2017: “I am the daughter of Indian parents, who reminded my brothers, my sister and me everyday how blessed we were to live in this country. The truth is, I have seen so many similarities between the Israeli culture and the Indian culture,” Nikki Haley said in her address to Americans Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference on Tuesday.

45-year-old Indian-origin US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had talked about the “many similarities” Indian and Israeli cultures share.

“We’re very close-knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy, and giving back. So that’s all the good things. We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight,” Haley had said in response to a question, mentioned PTI.

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She has also talked about Iran, “It’s concerning. And the reason it’s concerning is because when the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran, and it empowered Russia. And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more”.

“It is – you can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it’s very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. So what we have said is, we’re going to watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed and dealt with,” she said.

On the matter of threats to peace and security, Haley had said the US will not take its number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them. “I think what you’re seeing is they’re all backing up a little bit. The Israel-bashing is not as loud. They didn’t know exactly what I meant outside of giving the speech, so we showed them. So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out,” she had said.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

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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.

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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)