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Rivers of life

The wellsprings of ancient human civilizations, rivers are considered holy in many cultures. A vital source of precious freshwater, they are rightly called the arteries of life; we draw upon them in order to farm, drink and fish. Sacred they may be, yet they are increasingly sinned against, as they are blocked, diverted, overexploited and polluted by human activity. The richest habitats in terms of size for biodiversity, they are seeing the swiftest decline in species.

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Hindu women offer prayers to the sun god by venturing into the foam-coated waters of the Yamuna River (a major tributary of the Ganges) in New Delhi, India. The river is responsible for 70 per cent of the city’s water supply but is severely polluted at this stretch. Recently city authorities have taken to deploying blowers to push back the foam from the banks during festivals, so that the faithful can take a holy dip. ADNAN ABIDI/REUTERS

Rivers: holy waters

We need thriving rivers in order for life on Earth to flourish. But often how we treat them shows little understanding of this...
Scraps of torched cars left in Shiv Vihar from the 2020 Delhi riots. Credit: Banswalhemant

Tears for fears

Nilanjana Bhowmick on the routine communal violence that is a state-sponsored blot on India’s democracy.
NDONGO SAMBA SYLLA

The interview: Ndongo Samba Sylla

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A rally to mark Defender of Ukraine Day, in Kiev, on 14 October 2017. Activists and supporters of the Azov, Svoboda (Freedom), Ukrainian nationalist parties and Right Sector took part.

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‘Agony uncle, is it okay to accept rent from my partner?’

Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. Seems like we’re all in need of a New Internationalist perspective. Enter...
Alaa Abd el-Fattah

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Kharkiv’s musicians came together in a secret underground bunker for a fundraising gig, in aid of the city’s defence efforts. JEN STOUT

Kharkiv’s patchwork resistance

Without networks of civic activism, the war might be going very differently for Ukraine, writes Jen Stout.
Hindu women offer prayers to the sun god by venturing into the foam-coated waters of the Yamuna River (a major tributary of the Ganges) in New Delhi, India. The river is responsible for 70 per cent of the city’s water supply but is severely polluted at this stretch. Recently city authorities have taken to deploying blowers to push back the foam from the banks during festivals, so that the faithful can take a holy dip. ADNAN ABIDI/REUTERS

Rivers: holy waters

We need thriving rivers in order for life on Earth to flourish. But often how we treat them shows little understanding of this...

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