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I remember my geography teacher saying that the next world war would be about water. There have been a few issues already, but as Egypt rejects Nile water agreement I think we can probably see this a key moment in history. Switzerland, which has the largest reserves of fresh water, must be getting nervous. And it makes Spain’s investment in renewable energies and solar technology look even more sensible, since they’ll be able to use it…

Latest estimates suggest that 200,000 people died in the Haiti earthquake, 7 days ago. The world population increases by 200,000 people in just 1 day. So on the plus side, we’re still up 1,200,000 people in the past week. On the downside, of those newcomers 200,000 will be malnourished 400,000 won’t have access to a safe water supply 600,000 will be born into poverty 100,000 people die each day from the effects of malnutrion and…

So the Swiss have voted to ban building of minarets. This is not an architectural decision. They have planning laws and have already used them, which is why there only 4 minarets in Switzerland at the time of writing. Neither is this intrinsically about racism or anti Islam. The religion is perfectly well protected and supported, and there are many mosques around Switzerland. The religion is not being attacked. Even the associated cultural practises are…

“For most women the environment doesn’t figure at all. I was making programmes about global warming when I became pregnant with my first son, who is now 20, and it didn’t enter my head,” she says, although she can understand why Mr Porritt feels justified in raising the issue. “Benefit of a large family is that they learn to share and they do their bit for the planet by never flying long-haul” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7884138.stm