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Iran Deadline, ISIS Loses Tikrit, April Fools

Iran Deadline, ISIS Loses Tikrit, April Fools

Tehran and the six world powers gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland failed to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program before yesterday evening’s deadline but talks have resumed this morning for a seventh consecutive day. According to Iranian news agency Tasnim, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was hopeful the leaders could start drafting a deal in the next hours. His Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov said that a preliminary deal had been reached on "all key aspects" though “technical details” for a final agreement might not be cleared until June. Here’s the latest from the Associated Press.

After weeks of intense fighting, the Iraqi army and Shia militias have recaptured the city of Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein, from ISIS, Al Jazeera reports. The army has reached the center and are now clearing parts of the city where ISIS troops remain. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Tikrit. As CNN explains, this first major victory against ISIS paves the way for a “bigger prize,” the city of Mosul which Baghdad hopes to retake in the coming weeks.

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We dare you not to sing “the harder they come, the harder they fall” after watching your 57-second shot of history. (Plus a great April Fool’s prank from the BBC from 58 years ago!)

The victory of challenger Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election in Nigeria, Africa's biggest and richest country, was making big headlines around the world Wednesday. At home, the daily Nigerian Tribunecovered the results and reactions of Buhari's victory over incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. "Our country has now joined the community of nations that have used the ballot box to peacefully change an incumbent president in a free and fair election," Buhari said in a speech Wednesday at his party headquarters in the capital Abuja.

President Barack Obama announced yesterday the U.S. would resume its supply of military equipment to Egypt, which was frozen after the military ousted Mohamed Morsi in August 2013. Commenting on Obama’s decision, journalist Glenn Greenwald said it was “as unsurprising as it is noxious.” This comes as Egyptian President Al-Sisi is leading together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar the ongoing “Decisive Storm” military operation in Yemen.

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Lies and mistrust are spreading throughout society, destroying the relationships between people and states. How could it get this far?, asks Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Stefan Ulrich. “Lies can save lives if they are aimed at preventing mass hysteria. Lies can be viewed as a forgivable sin because everyone expects to be lied to — for example during election time. And lies can even become truths. In 2008 Chancellor Angela Merkel and then Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrueck reassured the citizens that their saving deposits were safe. That was a lie when spoken. But because many believed it at the time, the confidence inspired made it become the truth.”
Read the full article, Lying Power, Humans Can't Always Handle The Truth.

Palestine officially becomes a member of the International Criminal Court today, with the Palestinian Authority aiming to pursue Israel for alleged war crimes during its military operations in Gaza and for its building settlements on Palestinian territory. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.

Photo: storydumonde via Instagram
Japan’s Misao Okawa, the world's oldest person, has died just a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday. Her “successor” is Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, who was born on July 4, 1898. We’ll let you do the math.

It’s that time of year again when journalists are getting their facts wrong ... on purpose. Here’s a selections of our best finds:

P.S. You can now play Pac-Man in Google Maps.

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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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