Politics

India faces water crisis

India is facing its worst-ever water crisis, a new report by a government advisory body has warned. The comprehensive study on the state of India's water warned of conflict and other related threats, including food security risks, unless actions are taken to restore water bodies.

Currently, about 600 million Indians are facing high to extreme stress over water. Ninety cities in India do not have enough clean drinking water now to sustain their populace. More than 20 cities, including New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people. Around 40 percent of the population will have no access to clean drinking water by 2030. 

The water crisis could also aggravate political tensions in the region. Eleven Indian states are locked in major disputes over river water-sharing. Scores of people have died in violent protests over a river water dispute between two southern Indian states.

Twitter cleans up its act

Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day. The rate of account suspensions has more than doubled since October 2017, when the company revealed under congressional pressure how Russia used fake accounts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July, according to the data.

Apologizing to Japan

This is an op-ed—meaning it is the author's personal view—from The New York Times.

For nearly the last two decades, Japan has been held up as a cautionary tale, an object lesson on how not to run an advanced economy. After all, the island nation is the rising superpower that stumbled. And Western economists were scathing in their criticisms of Japanese policy.

In January 1990, Japan's stock market crashed. Property values fell 87%. The Bank of Japan lowered the interest rate from 6 percent to 0.5 percent by 1995, but it didn't revive the economy

These days, I often find myself thinking that we ought to apologize.

Working mothers in Japan

The Japanese government wants women to work more and have more children, but it lacks concrete plans of how to do so. To begin with, there is a drastic need to increase government-funded care for children of all ages. In Japanese elementary schools, a lot of the activities and meetings fall in the middle of a weekday, and while public afterschool care does exist, in many places it is only for children up through third grade.

To truly support families and encourage people to have kids in the first place, both women and men should be encouraged to leave work earlier and take paid leave. As long as this issue is not properly addressed, then nothing is really going to change.

Japan accepted 20 refugees in 2017

The number of asylum seekers to Japan grew 80 percent to a record 19,628 in 2017--but only 20 were accepted.

Immigration is a controversial subject in Japan, even as the population ages and its workforce shrinks. The government in mid-January 2018 limited the right to work only to those Japan regards as bona fide refugees. As a result, the average daily number of applicants for asylum fell by 50 percent in January as compared to December 2017.

"Twenty people is way too few. Judging from our experience in refugee support, I believe more people should be accepted," said Eri Ishikawa, of the Japan Association for Refugees.

Japan accepted 28 people as refugees in 2016.

The biggest threat to the world

Big Question: From Vladimir Putin's expansionist aims to the advances of Islamic State, the news is full of threats to global stability - but what do specialists in war studies think we should fear most?

Is Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), close to Europe via its growth in Libya, the greatest threat to global stability? Or is China's rise more to be feared than Vladimir Putin's involvement in the Ukraine crisis?

Chinese navy enters South China Sea

A group of Chinese warships led by the country's sole aircraft carrier entered the top half of the South China Sea on Monday after passing south of Taiwan, the self-ruled island's Defense Ministry said of what China has termed a routine exercise.

The move comes amid renewed tension over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, ineligible for state-to-state relations, following U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's telephone call with the island's president that upset Beijing.