Contaminated with lead, Flint residents may demand justice

The US Supreme Court gave Monday the green light for the continuation of two class-action lawsuits bringing together residents of the city of Flint, whose drinking water system was permanently contaminated with lead. [19659002ResidentsofthisformerindustrialcitywhichhasbecomeasymbolofsocialinjusticesintheUnitedStateshadsummonedMichigancityandstateofficialsbeforethecourts

These officials had obtained invalidation in the first instance. proceedings against them, but an Ohio Court of Appeal later reversed that decision in July 2017.

The nine wise men in Washington ruled on Monday that the proceedings should continue.

The High Court also rejected the arguments put forward by the City of Flint, Genesee County, and Michigan environmental policy makers.

Flint-contaminated water in the city of Flint is one of the worst health scandals in recent years in the United States.

The tragedy was caused by the decision of the local authorities to change the city's water supply in 2014 as a cost-saving measure

The acidic and polluted water of the local river, preferred in the clean water of nearby Lake Michigan, gnawed the distribution system, exposing people to lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning of thousands of Flint children threatens to have catastrophic health consequences for decades.

Domestic Wind Scam: Opening of Orleans Trial

The trial of three former leaders of France Aeolian society opened Monday afternoon in the Criminal Court of Orleans, in the presence of three defendants suspected of having swindled about 600 victims residing throughout France. 19659002] Many of these victims, who bought defective domestic wind turbines proposed by the company, are defended by a dozen lawyers. Some fifty victims made the trip.

Before the court gets to the heart of the matter, Pierre Chaufour, the lawyer of Cyrille Aumont, one of the defendants, requested the referral of the case or failing that, a disjunction for his client.

Indeed, argued the lawyer, Mr. Aumont was informed by the press, there are ten days, the holding of his trial and learned on this occasion that his original lawyer was now retired. His new board said he was "unable to properly defend his client" in such a short time.

The public prosecutor, Jean-Dominique Trippier, like all the representatives of the civil parties, objected to any reference or even a disjunction of the file. The court followed them and Mr. Aumont will defend himself alone.

Between 2006 and 2009, the France Aeolian company, based in Fay-aux-Loges (Loiret), solicited individuals and farmers from all over France, to convince them to install a wind turbine on their property.

It soon became clear that the wind turbines manufactured in China were of poor quality. They provided a power of 3 kilowatts (kW), when France Aeolian promised 5 kW.

Some customers have never been delivered. In others, the material, billed between 15,000 and 50,000 euros, never worked properly and sometimes proved dangerous.

Created in 2006, the company was finally placed in liquidation in July 2009. It then presented a liability of five million euros.

The director of the company, aged 57, is the main mis en cause. He is prosecuted for fraud, deception on merchandise and abuse of corporate property.

A 46-year-old manager of Wind Electric, who succeeded France Éoliennes after being liquidated, answers for his part, complicity with

The former director of the company who imported wind turbines from China is also being prosecuted for deception.

The trial is expected to last two and a half days.

The "peace channel": a crazy project to save the Dead Sea

" Only the sea can fill the sea ," said Moussa Salim al-Athem, who came to dig his tomato plants near Ghor al-Haditha, south of the Dead Sea . Born in 1953, this farmer jordan has seen the blue waters retreat over the years, revealing a lunar landscape of gaping craters and salt sculptures. " Before 1967, the water was ten minutes walk from home, now it takes an hour ," he says.

A treasure that dries up

Spectacular ] salty lake lined with red ocher cliffs the Dead Sea is threatened with extinction. It has lost a third of its surface since 1960 and continues to decline by more than one meter per year. In question, intensive potash operations, which accelerate its evaporation, but especially the decrease in the flow of the Jordan River, increasingly exploited by the two countries it borders, Jordan and Israel . " Since 1950, the flow of the Jordan has dropped from 1.2 billion cubic meters to less than 200 million ," said Frédéric Maurel, expert engineer of the French Development Agency (AFD). A disaster for the Dead Sea and its residents: Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians

Because with its medicinal black muds, its exceptional salinity, its potash reserves, its tourist attraction, " the Dead Sea has a historical, biblical, natural, tourist, medical and industrial value, making it an invaluable treasure argues Avner Adin, Israeli water specialist. Ideas to stop its decline have not failed. Around 1900, the founding father of Zionism Theodor Herzl had already thought of digging a canal to feed it from the Mediterranean. It is finally the project of an aqueduct leaving from the Red Sea and entirely built on the Jordanian territory which was retained, with the signature in December 2013 of a tripartite agreement between Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians. Regional collaboration bringing hope to this historically troubled region. This agreement initially plans to pump 300 million m 3 seawater, desalination in a dedicated plant north of the Jordanian port of Aqaba to obtain drinking water that is sorely lacking in the region, and to transfer desalinated brines via a pipeline into the Dead Sea, 200 km to the north.

Not enough to stabilize the level of the Dead Sea, but an early solution to curb its drying out, says Frédéric Maurel, in charge of this project for AFD. " There should also be a more economical use of water, both in agriculture and in the potash industry ," he says. In 2015, agreements also provided for reciprocal water sales: Jordan would deliver Israel's drinking water south, which in return would increase its sales of water from the Sea of ​​Galilee to supply Northern Jordan . And the Palestinians would also receive additional water deliveries from Israel. At the end of 2016, five consortia of firms were pre-selected

"Last impetus"

Remains the question of the financing of this public-private partnership, valued at 1 billion dollars, of which 400 million public funds. Some 120 million donations have already been pledged, notably by the United States and Japan. AFD has set up a European group of donors (France, Italy, Spain, the European Union and the European Investment Bank) willing to lend $ 140 million at advantageous rates to Jordan. " We have never been so close to the goal, it misses the last impulse of the Jordanian and Israeli authorities ", stresses Mr. Maurel.

For a diplomatic source in Amman, " project remains essential for the countries of the region Difficult to bring tourists around a salt pool ". But " it remains subjected to the diplomatic vagaries ". The talks were totally frozen after the death in July of two Jordanians killed by an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy in Amman. They would be restarting after Israel apologized in mid-January. " In my opinion, the main obstacle could be financial ," judge Avner Adin. Israel, which is also expected to contribute $ 140 million to the project, has not yet confirmed this commitment. In Amman, we are determined to move forward, with or without Israel. " It's a question of national security ," said the secretary general of the Jordan Water Authority, Iyad Dahiyat. " Our groundwater is overexploited, water desalination is Jordan's future, and for us, the Red Sea-Dead Sea project is essential ".

Opening of the international water forum in Brasilia

Brazilian President Michel Temer opened Monday the International Water Forum in Brasilia, explaining that "there is no time to lose" to avoid a catastrophe, while the UN also pulled the bell

The UN reported that nearly half of the world's population – 3.6 billion people – live in areas where water can be scarce for at least a month a year. That number could reach 5.7 billion in 2050, according to this report.

As demand grows, especially in developing countries, underground reserves are depleted, pumped mainly for irrigation, and water quality is being degraded, polluted by industrial and municipal wastewater and wastewater. agricultural chemicals, warns the UN, which advocates "green solutions."

"There is simply no time to lose," said President Temer in his opening address for the 8th edition of the Forum planned until March 23 in the Brazilian capital.

"There is a consensus," added the head of state, "life on Earth is threatened if we do not respect the limits of nature "

 Cape Town Water Crisis (AFP - Kun TIAN)

Cape Town Water Crisis (AFP – Kun TIAN)

Nearly 40,000 people attend the Forum, including about 15 chiefs of states, 300 mayors of cities around the world, and dozens of scientists and environmental activists.

The forum meets at a time when large cities like Cape Town are facing a dramatic lack of water. The South African metropolis has been threatened with running water in the coming months due to the drought.

Reducing nuclear power: an "irrevocable" goal, according to Hulot

Reducing the share of nuclear energy in the production of electricity is an "irrevocable" goal, said Monday the Minister of ecological transition Nicolas Hulot at the moment a public debate begins on the energy trajectory of France. 19659002] "The objective of the nuclear reduction is irrevocable," said Nicolas Hulot on France 2, who does not wish to see the public consultation be reduced to "a debate for or against nuclear power."

"All world is in agreement to reduce the share of nuclear in electricity production to 50% ", he insisted. The date of achievement of this objective "will come out as evidence at the end of this consultation."

The government had given up this proportion of 50%, against 75% currently, in 2025, a goal provided in the law of 2015 energy transition.

The public debate, which will take place until June 30, will address various topics, such as the positioning of renewable energy sources and security of supply.

A website will gather the information relating to the debate (syntheses, studies …) on the energy trajectory and will allow the public to make contributions.

"It is not simply an energy model, it is a model of society, 'is an economic model,' said the Minister for Ecological Transition, who encourages the French to participate in the process.

Public consultation takes place within the framework of the development of pluria programming annual energy plan (PPE) for the period 2019-2023, which should put France on the right track to achieve its long-term objectives.

These objectives include the reduction of 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. of greenhouse in 2030 compared to 1990 and a share of 32% of renewable energy in consumption (40% of production) in 2030.