Brazil’s biggest city is running out of water

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s biggest city is running out of water and options.

The worst drought to hit the Sao Paulo region in 84 years is forcing local authorities for the second time in a year to put water pumps below the gates of the main reservoir, where the level has dropped sharply, so water can flow to the city’s 9 million people.

Federal prosecutors are also demanding that state officials immediately present a plan for water rationing, warning that otherwise the reservoir could go dry.

The region got only a third of the usual rain during Brazil’s wet season from December to February.

All we have left to hope is for rain. Without rainfall, we have no options,” said Jose Carlos Mierzwa, a University of Sao Paulo professor who focuses on sanitary engineering.

Despite the company’s public statements against rationing, Sao Paulo’s main newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, has reported that more than 2 million people in the state of 44 million already say that their water is often cut for a few hours or days at a time. Some places have their own water utility, but 27 million people rely on the state-run company.

“It is not raining and because the reservoir level is so low we have one day with water and one day without,” said Cabral.

via News from The Associated Press.

Obama prepares schools for migrant kids

The Obama administration is preparing the nation’s schools to accept thousands of new students who illegally crossed the southwest border and are now awaiting trials on their possible deportations.

A fact sheet from the Department of Education sent to states and schools on Monday highlights the children’s right [sic] to attend public school.

It says all children in the United States “are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status.”

The prospect of tens of thousands of children mostly from Central American countries attending school as they wait for their immigration status to be decided has the potential to be explosive after this summer’s emotional public debate about the border.

via Obama prepares schools for migrant kids | TheHill.

WHO suggests Ebola toll vastly underestimated:

CONAKRY (Reuters) – Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website on Thursday.

The death toll from the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola stood on Wednesday at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, the agency said. The majority were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while four people have died in Nigeria.

“Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” the organisation said on its website.

WHO is coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response, marshalling support from individual countries, disease control agencies, agencies within the United Nations system, and others.”

Health experts say government responses to the disease need to be calibrated to prevent its spread, while avoiding measures that could induce panic or damage economies unnecessarily.

That task is harder because health services have been stretched to the breaking point and mistrust of health workers among some rural communities is high. In addition, 170 healthcare workers have been infected and 81 have died.

Ebola is one of the world’s most deadly diseases and kills the majority of those infected. Its symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.

via Evidence suggests Ebola toll vastly underestimated: WHO – Yahoo News.