Citizens' Issues
20 million drink arsenic-laced water in Bangladesh: Report
Dhaka : The Bangladesh government is failing to adequately respond to naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water across large areas of rural Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. Some 20 million people still drink contaminated water.
 
A 111-page report documents how Bangladesh’s health system largely ignores the impact of exposure to arsenic on people’s health. An estimated 43,000 people die each year from arsenic-related illness in Bangladesh, according to one study. 
 
The government identifies people with arsenic-related illnesses primarily via skin lesions, although the vast majority of those with arsenic-related illnesses don’t develop them, Human Rights Watch said. 
 
Those exposed are at significant risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease but many receive no health care at all, it said.
 
“Bangladesh isn’t taking basic, obvious steps to get arsenic out of the drinking water of millions of its rural poor,” said Richard Pearshouse of Human Rights Watch and author of the report. 
 
“Unless the government and Bangladesh’s international donors do more, millions of Bangladeshis will die from preventable arsenic-related diseases,” he said.
 
Arsenic is found in water from hand-pumped, mostly shallow, tube wells across huge swaths of rural Bangladesh. 
 
Although deep wells can often reach groundwater of better quality, government programmes to install new wells don’t make it a priority to install them in areas where the risk of arsenic contamination is relatively high.
 
Human Rights Watch also found a serious lack of monitoring and quality control in arsenic mitigation projects. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Mumbai triple blasts: Three sentenced to life
Mumbai : A Mumbai Special Court on Wednesday awarded life sentence to three of the accused for the 2002-03 triple bombings here. The three include the prime accused Muzammil Ansari.
 
Four others were given 10 years jail term, including Saquib Nachan, the general secretary of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
 
Three other convicts were given two years jail term by Special POTA Judge P. R. Deshmukh.
 
All the 10 were found guilty and and convicted by the court on March 29, after which there were arguments between special public prosecutor Rohini Salian and defence lawyers on the quantum of sentencing, which concluded on Tuesday.
 
Linked by a common conspiracy, the blasts occurred near McDonald's eatery in Mumbai Central Terminus on December 6, 2002, another in a Vile Parle market on January 27, 2003 and the third in a crowded ladies first class compartment of a suburban train near Mulund on March 13, 2003, killing a total of 12 and injuring over 139 others.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Panama says it won't be 'scapegoat' for papers scandal
Panama city : The Panamanian government said that it would not accept the country being used as a "scapegoat" for the apparent financial misdeeds detailed in the Panama Papers.
 
"We are not going to allow Panama to be used as a scapegoat by third parties. Each country (implicated) is responsible," presidential chief of staff Alvaro Aleman said on Tuesday.
 
Panama "rejects and regrets" that anyone should want to "trample" its good name, "conveniently forgetting the participation in offshore operations of institutions and individuals of other nations", Efe news agency quoted Aleman as saying.
 
Aleman demanded that media take the time to "understand the situation in depth and avoid repeating commonplaces and old prejudices about our country.
 
Panama has changed and we are promoting dramatic reforms that can in no way be ignored," Aleman said.
 
The minister also criticised that the name of Panama Papers has been used for the roughly 11.5 million confidential documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specialises in wealth management.
 
Panama, Aleman said, is not the only country involved but that "21 different jurisdictions have been mentioned" as offshore tax havens where companies have been created.
 
As a result of the leak, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin announced on Tuesday that Panama would again be included on its blacklist of tax havens, from which it was eliminated in late 2011.
 
Aleman recalled that "in Panama, there is a law that sets out retaliation measures against countries that include Panama in 'gray lists'."
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie regretted the "irresponsible statement" by the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Angel Gurria, who urged on Monday that Panama "immediately" apply the international standards of fiscal transparency, criticising the central American country for having long resisted appeals to take that step.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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