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Tom's Take:

January 7th, 2010
12:57 PM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sr. Writer Tom Evans"]

On AMANPOUR. today, we will be looking at the global competition for an increasingly scarce resource, water.  Countries such as Yemen are suffering from critical water shortages. By some estimates water scarcity affects one in three humans on the planet. Even parts of the United States are suffering from critical water shortages. Some analysts believe competition for water could even lead to wars. At a time when water is running out and there are more and more mouths to feed, should we be looking at water as a privilege?  Is it something we should pay for if we can afford it? Should we be able to make money from it?  Is it a right and a resource that should be protected from market forces? Or will market forces protect water from running out too quickly? We will try to answer those questions in today’s show. But there are some other important headlines to tell you about as well today.

Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

YEMEN – How close were ties of accused Christmas Day attempted bomber with Yemen?

–          Yemen’s deputy prime minister says suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab met with radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen but was radicalized in Britain when he was a student

–          U.S. intelligence officials trying to find out whether al-Awlaki played a role in the botched attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day

–          American President Barack Obama to address U.S. today on aviation security failures and steps being taken to protect airliners and their passengers and crews

QUESTION: Will United States insist on playing a more direct role in Yemen despite opposition from the government there to any direct intervention?

KASHMIR – Is disputed region on the brink of a major new flare-up in violence?

–          government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir kill two attackers in region’s main city Srinagar after a 20-hour standoff

–          attack was first prolonged shootout in Srinagar since 2006

–          fears of increased tensions over Kashmir between India and Pakistan, both nuclear armed nations, after years of declining attacks in region

QUESTION: Will this violence make it even more difficult for India and Pakistan to resume talks on Kashmir that were suspended by India after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008?

SUDAN – Will major conflict return to southern Sudan?

–          senior U.N. official today said at least 140 people killed in southern Sudan violence in the past week

–          ten major aid agencies today said major conflict could return unless world takes action to bolster a faltering peace process between the north and the south after a war that killed two million people

–          agencies released their report two days before fifth anniversary of a 2005 peace deal that ended the war between the Sudanese government and southern rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. But the violence continues

QUESTION: Is the peace deal between the north and the south in Sudan on the brink of collapse as the aid agencies assert?

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Sayan Majumdar

    Tom, it should not be overlooked that Yemen rests aside the vital strait of Bab el Mandeb and to ensure smooth passage across this vital Sea Line of Communication (SLOC) under no circumstances Yemen should get “relegated” into a failed State.

    Under such contexts United States intervention is perhaps inevitable.


    January 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  2. AJ

    "Will United States insist on playing a more direct role in Yemen despite opposition from the government there to any direct intervention?"

    I don't think so. It is very hard to trust the Yemeni government and the military to properly manage the aid and take care of the situation. But I don't see how the US can sustain yet another "direct intervention" which is bound to meet resistance both domestically and globally and can potentially breed more hatred and extremism. I think the Unite States has learned her lessons and is gonna try to have her allies in the region to take care of this on her behalf.

    January 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  3. Amie Sugat

    The problem is that most fresh water and fresh water sources are polluted by industrial waste, sewage, farm waste, pesticides, herbicides, household chemicals and prescription drugs which have been flushed down the toilet (either whole or in excrement).

    These chemicals seep into ground water, aquifers, rivers, lakes, and are just recirculated right back into municipal water systems.

    The water piped into all American homes is not purified, its only filtered. Which means dangerous bacteria, in addition to the toxins listed above, are left in it.

    To kill the dangerous bacteria the government has chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride added. (among others)

    This is in an industrialized nation. In developing nations and third world countries, dangerous toxins which have been banned in the sates, are still used in farming. These are leaking into their water supply, along with their feces and that of their animals. They do not have waste water treatments. So their wells, rivers, lakes, streams, and aquifers are even more polluted.


    All this polluted water eventually gets washed out to sea. Where it contaminated the fish and food supplies.

    Even if the entire planet went organic today, it could still take hundreds or thousands of years before the fresh water supply is clean again. Some researchers say toxins such as dioxins may take even longer to leach out of the soil completely.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Reply
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