At a press conference Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cited a number of reasons why the state is facing such a challenge in the floods — heavy rainfall since June 1 (42.17% excess in the state, 83.59% excess in Idukki); an overflowing Idukki reservoir; geography (low-lying areas, 41 rivers); and a high population density compared to the all-India density.
Census 2011 puts Kerala’s population density at 859 per square kilometre, which is more than twice the all-India 382.
Counting only states and Union Territories whose population is at least 1 crore, Kerala’s population density is the fourth highest in the country. This benchmark keeps Delhi on top of the list but leaves out the less populous Union Territories, some of which have higher population densities than Kerala’s. Among the 1-crore-plus states and UTs, Delhi is followed by Bihar and West Bengal.
This Word Means: Chain migration
Often denounced by President Trump, now used to grant US citizenship to his in-laws. What is this process?
Earlier this month, the parents of US First Lady Melania Trump were granted American citizenship through a pathway popularly called “chain migration”. It is a phrase that President Trump Donald Trump has used frequently, and a process he has publicly denounced. “CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!” Trump had tweeted once. Now used to grant citizenship to his Slovenia-born in-laws, chain migration refers to family-based migration. The provision stems from a 1965 Act thorough which American green card holders can sponsor their spouses and unmarried children for permanent residence, and US citizens can also petition for residence for their parents, siblings and married adult children. Citing data from the Department of Homeland Security, The New York Times reported in January that out of the nearly 11 million immigrants who obtained green cards from 2007 to 2016, about 7 million did so through family relations.
Tip for Reading List: War from the ground up
Eight years ago, The New York Times journalist C J Chivers wrote The Gun — a history of automatic weapons with special emphasis on the most extraordinary automatic weapon of all, the Avtomat Kalashnikova, designed by a then 29-year-old former tank commander of the Soviet Army, Sr Sgt Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov. Prototypes were finalised at a technical bureau in Kovrov, east of Moscow, in 1947, and the rifle came to be named for the intials of its designer and the year of its creation: AK-47. Within 25 years, the AK-47 would be the most abundantly available firearm the world had ever known.
Chivers, 54, winner of multiple Pulitzer Prizes, acknowledged as one of the most important war correspondents of his generation, and noted for his knowledge of weapons, has now written his second book — The Fighters, taglined Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It covers these combatants with a simple organising idea: that they are human,” Chivers says in the Preface. “It details personal experiences: what these experiences were, how they unfolded, and what effects they had upon those who were there. And it covers them from their own perspectives, offering their own interpretations of their wars.”
Since late 2001, more than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq, and many have been part of both America’s wars. Chivers’s chapters contain the stories of a handful of these soldiers: Lt Layne McDowell, Sgt First Class Leo Kryszewski, Hospital Corpsman Dustin E Kirby, Specialist Robert Soto, and so on. It’s a book that, The New York Times review says, “constitutes an illusion-free zone, where the concrete triumphs over the abstract, where the best and most indelible of those profiled, from that vast working-class heart of the country, begin their military service in a blaze of patriotism following 9/11, and end up confused, cynical, betrayed and often disfigured or dead”.