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EU Eyes Refugee Cap, Castro Praises Pope, Brands Target Lesbians

EU Eyes Refugee Cap, Castro Praises Pope, Brands Target Lesbians

CONFLICT INTENSIFIES AHEAD OF YEMEN TRUCE

The Saudi-led airstrike campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen intensified over the weekend, hours before the beginning of a negotiated five-day ceasefire that will allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians. The Houthis said this morning they had downed a Moroccan fighter jet taking part in the strikes campaign, website Middle East Eye reports. More than 1,400 people have died since violence resumed in Yemen March 19, many of them civilians. All sides have warned that they will retaliate iF the ceasefire is violated. Read more from USA Today.


ON THIS DAY


Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, known to us as Salvador Dalí, was born on this day 111 years ago. Time for your 57-second shot of history.


EU EYES QUOTAS FOR REFUGEES

The European Commission is expected Wednesday to unveil controversial plans to impose migrant quotas on the 28 EU countries, a move Germany supports but that Britain’s new Conservative government fiercely opposes, The Guardian reports. As many as 60,000 migrants are believed to have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year alone, and more than 1,800 have died in the process, 20 times more than during the same period last year.

  • In Malaysia, more than 1,000 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been arrested and placed in detention centers after entering the country illegally by boat,” Al Jazeera reports. They are believed to be Rohingya Muslims, who are persecuted in Myanmar.

7.4 MILLION

China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest crude oil importer last month with a record high of almost 7.4 million barrels, Reuters reports. Though China, which consumes more energy than any country in the world, is expected to become the permanent leader in the long run, experts believe it might drop back to second place soon.


S. AFRICA OPPOSITION ELECTS FIRST BLACK LEADER

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance party has elected 34-year-old Mmusi Maimane as its new party chief, the first black leader of the country’s opposition party. The Mail & Guardian believes Maimane’s victory may help his party evolve from a political force believed to be pro-white to “a new era” that poses real challenges for President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress. “We must and we will win power in our lifetime,” Maimane told party members after his victory. “We will be the next government of this beautiful country.”


VERBATIM

Photo: Evandroinetti/Vaticanpool/Piccia/ZUMA

“I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I'm not joking,” Cuban

President Raul Castro said during his visit to Vatican, where he thanked Pope Francis for his role in the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement. “I am from the Cuban Communist Party that doesn't allow (religious) believers, but now we are allowing it. It's an important step.”


DEADLY CLASHES IN MACEDONIA

Authorities in Macedonia have accused ethnic Albanians from Kosovo of planning violent unrest in the country, after a Saturday police raid against an armed group left 14 militants and eight police officers dead, the BBC reports. Officials said after the operation that the group had been “neutralized” and a massive weapons cache seized. Because of the region’s particular instability in recent decades, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg urged “everyone to exercise restraint and avoid any further escalation.” Read more in our Extra! feature.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



LIBERIA IS EBOLA-FREE

After 42 days without any new Ebola cases, Liberia has been officially declared free of the deadly virus that killed more than 4,700 people in the West African country and more than 11,000 in the region. But Doctors Without Borders has urged patience and vigilance as neighboring countries continue to fight against it. Read about the situation in Guinea with this Le Monde/Worldcrunch article, The Painful Lurch Toward The End Of Ebola In Guinea.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Well-known brands such as Audi, Jagermeister and Granini are increasingly spending their advertising dollars to capture the attention of gay women, who tend to be high-wage earners and very loyal, Die Welt’s Steffen Frundt writes. “The latest estimates from the German Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) suggest that lesbians are every bit as numerous as gay men, roughly one in 10 women,” he writes. “Their scene is less in the public eye, but because more and more women — among them so many successful, prominent and beautiful ones — are openly gay, lesbianism is undergoing an image change in Germany. They are more interested in travel and fashion and are willing to spend more money than the average straight German woman.”

Read the full article, Lesbians, The New Perfect Audience For Advertisers.


‘O LUNA MIA

Leo babies can look forward to performance anxieties and work concerns calming down this week, though Scorpios might have it tougher going. See more of what Simon, Italy’s most trusted astrologer, is predicting in this week’s horoscope.

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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