Six In The Morning Monday 27 May 2019


World’s rivers ‘awash with dangerous levels of antibiotics’

Largest global study finds the drugs in two-thirds of test sites in 72 countries

Hundreds of rivers around the world from the Thames to the Tigris are awash with dangerously high levels of antibiotics, the largest global study on the subject has found.

Antibiotic pollution is one of the key routes by which bacteria are able develop resistance to the life-saving medicines, rendering them ineffective for human use. “A lot of the resistance genes we see in human pathogens originated from environmental bacteria,” said Prof William Gaze, a microbial ecologist at the University of Exeter who studies antimicrobial resistance but was not involved in the study.

The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a global health emergency that could kill 10 million people by 2050, the UN said last month.

Right-wing figures warn of looming ‘civil war’ over abortion laws

One pastor said: ‘A civil war is coming to America, only this time, it will be abortion, rather than slavery, that divides the nation’

Victoria Gagliardo-SilverNew York

As the abortion rights debate continues, some prominent right-wing American Christians have shared an ominous warning: that conflict over abortion access may lead to a new civil war.

With restrictive abortion bills passing around the US – like the Alabama abortion ban and foetal heartbeat bills, which restrict elective abortion at the about six weeks into pregnancy – America seems divided on a woman’s right to choose.

Both lawmakers and influential Christians sources have reinforced this narrative. Charisma magazine, a spiritual Christian magazine, ran six or so articles on the potential of an imminent, abortion related civil war in America.

Far-right League becomes Italy’s largest party in EU elections

The far-right League became Italy’s largest party in Sunday’s European parliamentary election, surging past its coalition partner the 5-Star Movement, which saw its own support slump.

The vote looks certain to alter the balance of power within the deeply divided government, giving greater authority to League leader Matteo Salvini, who is pushing for swingeing tax cuts in possible defiance of EU budget rules.

“Thank you Italy. We will use your trust well. The first party in Italy will change Europe,” a beaming Salvini said in a video posted on Facebook.

Myanmar soldiers jailed for Rohingya massacre freed after months

Troops released in November 2018 after serving less than one year of their 10-year prison terms, Reuters report says.

Myanmar has granted early release to seven soldiers jailed for the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys during a 2017 military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine, two prison officials, two former fellow inmates and one of the soldiers told Reuters news agency.

The soldiers were freed in November last year, the two inmates said, meaning they served less than one year of their 10-year prison terms for the killings at Inn Din village.

They also served less jail time than two Reuters reporters who uncovered the killings. The journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, spent more than 16 months behind bars on charges of obtaining state secrets. The two were released in an amnesty on May 6.

Trump breaks with Abe; says he’s not bothered by N Korean missile tests

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he is not “personally bothered” by recent short-range missile tests that North Korea conducted this month, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the president on four-day state visit full of pageantry

Trump said he had a good feeling that the nuclear standoff with North Korea will be resolved.

“I may be right, I may be wrong. But I feel that we’ve come a long way. There’s been no rocket testing, there’s been no nuclear testing,” he said.

Barcelona’s radical plan to take back streets from cars

Introducing “superblocks.”

 2016, I wrote a brief story on “superblocks,” a hot new urban-planning idea out of Barcelona, Spain, that would reclaim streets from cars and transform them into walkable, mixed-used public spaces.

Ever since then, I’ve wondered how the city’s effort was progressing. So I jumped at the chance to spend 10 days in Barcelona in October, interviewing city officials, urban planning experts, and residents about the history of the program and its prospects for the future.

What I found was more fascinating than anything I could have imagined: not just an urban plan, but a vision for a different way of living in the 21st century, one that steps back from many of the mistakes of the auto-besotted 20th century, refocusing on health and community. It is a bigger and more ambitious city plan than anything being discussed in America and, more important, a plan that is actually being implemented, with a few solid pilot projects behind it, a list of lessons learned, and a half-dozen new projects in the works.