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Hezbollah Restraint, MH370 Declared "Accident," Saudi Misogyny

Hezbollah Restraint, MH370 Declared "Accident," Saudi Misogyny

HEZBOLLAH SENDS MESSAGE OF RESTRAINT
While many feared that yesterday’s deadly clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli Defense Forces on the Lebanon border might ignite a new war, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel had received a message from Hezbollah in which the Lebanese group said it was retreating from further violence, Haaretz reports. According to the newspaper, the Israel-Lebanon frontier was apparently quiet this morning.

VERBATIM
“I no longer even trust the guards,” Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman reportedly said before he was found dead in mysterious circumstances. He made the comment to Diego Lagomarsino, a computer specialist and longtime acquaintance who, at the prosecutor’s request, loaned Nisman an old gun just one day before Nisman’s death. It’s the same weapon that eventually killed him. Read more from AFP.

ISIS EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR PRISONER SWAP
ISIS has reportedly extended a deadline for Jordan to release a would-be female suicide bomber to save the life of a Jordanian air force pilot and to secure the release of a Japanese hostage. In an audio message posted online and purportedly read by the the Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, the terrorist group says Jordan has until sunset to present their prisoner at the Turkish border, The Japan Timesreports.

ON THIS DAY
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On this day in 1962, Yves Saint Laurent presented his first collection. Time for your 57-second shot of history.

MH370 OFFICIALLY AN “ACCIDENT”
Malaysia has officially declared the March disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident, paving the way for the company to proceed with the compensation process, Reuters reports. The 239 passengers and crew are presumed dead.

15 MILLION
As part of its partnership with the NSA, Canada’s electronic spy agency is monitoring between 10 and 15 million downloads every day from websites such as Mega and Rapidshare in a bid to identify people uploading or downloading potential terrorist content, documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Interceptand CBC reveal. “Every single thing that you do — in this case uploading/downloading files to these sites — that act is being archived, collected and analyzed,” said the director of Internet security think tank Citizen Lab.

GREECE ALLIES WITH RUSSIA ON SANCTIONS
EU foreign ministers are expected to meet in Brussels where they will discuss imposing new sanctions on Russia after the latest escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev government forces. According to Reuters, further restrictions on capital markets and on access to advanced technology for Russia’s gas and oil industries are in the cards. But as the Financial Times reports, the new Greek government has added to the EU’s headaches, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and leaders in his Syriza party appearing to side with Moscow and vocally opposing new sanctions.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD


GREECE ANTAGONIZES CHINA
Greece’s new leftist government in hindering an unhappy China, after newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he was halting the privatization of the port of Piraeus, for which a Chinese group had been short-listed.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Paul Swieboda writes for Gazeta Wyborcza, empathy for Paris following the terror attacks earlier this month has been in short supply in Poland. “The truth is, we don't really feel affected by what happened,” he writes. “The clash of cultures — secular versus radical Islamist — behind the event is an exotic, foreign issue to us. Meanwhile, some in Poland try to justify the lack of concern by pointing to other, much bloodier tragedies that never gained as much of attention as what happened in Paris: the 2,000 victims of Boko Haram in Nigeria, 145 children dead in the terrorist attack on the Peshawar school a month ago.”
Read the full article, Why Poland Is Not Charlie.

EBOLA FIGHTS ENTERS FINAL PHASE
With just 99 new Ebola cases reported last week, the World Health Organization says the response is entering a new phase focused on ending the epidemic. But scientists at the French Institut Pasteur have been studying whether the virus could have mutated, warning that it could have become less deadly but more contagious, the BBC reports.

SAUDI MISOGYNY
It’s not enough that Saudi leaders wouldn’t shake First Lady Michelle Obama’s hand. Now they want to host a male-only Olympics.

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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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