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September 24, 2016

The Syrian war has left nearly 2 million people in the city of Aleppo without drinking water, a clear violation of their human right to water.

The Guardian reports, "Heavy bombardment [by Syrian and Russian air forces] of the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo has left about 1.75 million people without running water, the United Nations has said. Intense attacks on Friday prevented repairs to the city’s damaged Bab al-Nayrab pumping station, which supplies water to 250,000 people in the eastern parts of the city, according to the UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF. In retaliation, the nearby Suleiman al-Halabi station [located in a rebel-held district], which pumps water to 1.5 million people in the [Syrian-regime held area] west of Aleppo, was switched off [by opposition forces], it said."

September 24, 2016

Barlow marched in Stuttgart last weekend joining with 320,000 Germans protesting across the country against CETA.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has denounced a proposed side deal "declaration" for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as "smoke and mirrors".

Deutsche Welle reports, "European trade ministers appear set to approve a free-trade deal between the EU and Canada following a day-long meeting [on September 23] in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. ...The ministers said the two sides would put together a declaration spelling out the limits of the pact to dispel public concerns."

Global News adds, "Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austria’s Christian Democrat vice chancellor, said a declaration making clear that standards were not under threat and that a special court would not allow big business to dictate public policy would help."

September 24, 2016

Uruguayan water justice activist Adriana Marquisio Cáceres and Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan.

Ottawa-based Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan is at the 5th continental assembly for La Red Vida (The Life Network), which is taking in Medellin, Colombia September 23-28.

Also known as the Inter-American Network for the Defense of the Right to Water, La Red Vida was formed in 2003 when 54 organizations from 16 countries came together in common cause to defend public water and sanitation services.

September 24, 2016

Photo by Ashley Ashbee.

More than 400 people gathered at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church on Bloor Street in Toronto yesterday evening to hear Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and singer-activist Sarah Harmer. The evening was moderated by Council of Canadians Toronto chapter activist Tara Seucharan.

Barlow is currently on a 14-city tour to promote her book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis, and campaigns to Boycott Nestle to stop the transnational profiting from water, and another calling on the Trudeau government to restore protections for Every Lake, Every River in Canada.

September 24, 2016

Despite more than 320,000 people marching against CETA and TTIP in Germany on September 17, Germany and other European Union member state governments are set to sign-off on CETA on October 18.

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) took a major step towards ratification this week.

Deutsche Welle reports, "European trade ministers appear set to approve a free-trade deal between the EU and Canada following a day-long meeting [on Friday September 23] in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. ...The ministers in Bratislava said the two sides would put together a declaration spelling out the limits of the pact to dispel public concerns. ...The ministers themselves are expected now to convene an extraordinary meeting on October 18, allowing the deal to be signed during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Brussels on October 27. It could enter force next year."

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