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Extra! German Paper Gives Greece's Finance Minister The Middle Finger

Die Tageszeitung, March 17, 2015

Things are heating up between Germany and Greece, again. The news Monday that Germany's DAX index reached an all-time high — even as cash-strapped Athens is trying to scrape enough money to make a $2 billion debt payment on Friday — prompted the Berlin-based daily Tageszeitung to give Greece's radical-left Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis a taste of his own medicine, in retaliation to what the German media is calling the "Fingergate."

Tageszeitung"s headline "Europe gives Varoufakis the middle finger," with a hand drawn on a picture of the European Central Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, is a tit-for-tat move against the new Greek finance minister after the emergence of a two-year-old video in which he suggested that the then government should file for bankruptcy and let Germany foot the bill, while flipping the bird to illustrate his comment.

When he was shown the footage Sunday on one of Germany's most popular talkshows on the state TV channel ARD, Varoufakis said he had "never given the finger ever" and that the video had been altered — though it was since confirmed as authentic.

This topped a difficult weekend for Varoufakis as the finance minister was also subjected to online mockery over a photo shoot with French magazine Paris Match, set in his luxurious home in the vicinity of Athens' Acropolis.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Founded in 1978 in Berlin, Die Tageszeitung, also known as "taz," is a left-leaning newspaper famous for its tongue-in-cheek headlines.

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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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