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Tag: Infrastructure

Israel’s Ongoing Blockade Of Gaza Could Force Palestinians To Drink Sewage

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Unreliable electricity, an ongoing blockade on building supplies, and a failing waste treatment plant have spawned a sewage crisis in Gaza that experts warn could permanently damage Palestinians’ access to clean water.

The crisis is now spilling over into Israel and threatening its water supply. According to an Aug. 25 report from Middle East Eye, floods of sewage flowing into the Mediterranean Sea have caused Israel’s Ashkelon desalination plant, the source of 20 percent of the country’s drinking water, to shut down at least four times in recent months.

In the report, Kieran Cooke wrote: “[E]ach day an estimated 90m litres of untreated or partially treated sewage flows into the sea in Gaza — only a few kilometres south of Ashkelon.”

Louisiana Flood Shows Harm Caused By Climate Change Denial And Neglect Of US Infrastructure

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

In addition to highlighting the growing impact of climate change on everyday Americans, historic flooding in Louisiana shows the deadly effects of long-term U.S. policies that include climate change denial, support for fossil fuels, and neglect of infrastructure.

At least eight people died, some 40,000 homes were damaged, and about 30,000 people were evacuated as flood waters rose earlier this month after heavy rains that began on Aug. 11. A dozen parishes in the state are considered federal disaster areas.

Both the national media and President Barack Obama have been criticized for being slow to respond to the floods. Some have even suggested that the flooding was underestimated because floods, unlike major weather events like hurricanes, aren’t given names.

It’s Not Just Roads And Bridges: US Courthouses Are Crumbling, Too

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and MintPress News

Just as many American roads are crumbling and bridges are badly in need of repair, the legal infrastructure of the country — specifically, its courthouses — is also endangered by age and overcrowding.

Starting this week, early voters in Travis County, Texas, are deciding on a bond that would fund the construction of a new family courthouse to replace an existing 84-year-old structure in downtown Austin, the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse, with a larger and more modern facility. And, like Austin, cities from Seattle to Miami have struggled with how to accommodate aging buildings alongside other budget issues like the growing cost of policing.

MintPress News spoke with Tyler Buckingham, assistant campaign manager from New Courts For Families, the campaign in support of the $287,275,000 bond that would fund the construction of a new courthouse complex on a downtown lot already owned by the state’s capital city. Buckingham explained that while accessible, safe courthouses are crucial to a democratic society, the issue can sometimes go overlooked by the media or politicians.