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Transatlantic Terror Lessons

New York is again testing the limits of its status as "the city that never sleeps." A week after marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at Ground Zero, an explosion a bit farther uptown Saturday injured 29 people. And now, even as the investigation continues into that attack in the Chelsea neighborhood, New Yorkers must brace for the arrival of world leaders for the United Nations General Assembly. It is an enormous municipal security challenge even in the best of times.


The main focus this year at the UN gathering will be the causes and effects of the ongoing crisis of refugees and migrants. Leaders from Europe have been faced with these issues ever more clearly in recent months, and the connections — real and perceived — to the ongoing wave of terror attacks cannot be ignored.


But after a wave of attacks in France, Belgium and Germany over the past year, the past two days have reminded us that the U.S. is also a potential target. Early on Monday, officials named a suspect for the Saturday night attack in New York as 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami. Meanwhile, the Islamic terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack in Minnesota that left eight injured at a mall on Saturday night as well. Police meanwhile found and disabled several explosive devices in a backpack at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, early Monday morning.


Were these attacks coordinated like that deadly night of Nov. 13 in Paris or the morning of March 22 in Brussels? Or are they disconnected like a spree of violence this summer in Germany? Last Sunday, during the 9/11 commemoration, President Obama explained what connects that singular day in September to the array of threats today: "Terrorists often attempt attacks on a smaller, but still deadly, scale." One week later, the only good news about the President's prescience is that this latest rash of terrorism on U.S. soil hasn't yet killed anyone.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



FARC CONFERENCE AHEAD OF PEACE DEAL VOTE

Colombia's FARC rebels gathered on Saturday for a week-long conference, where activists are largely expected to express support for a peace agreement reached last month with the government. Iván Márquez, the group's chief negotiator, told El Espectador that there was a "strong support for all the work we've done in Havana." The final agreement is expected to be signed by both parties on Sept. 26 and it will be put to a referendum on Oct. 2.


SYRIAN TRUCE IN DOUBT

Rebel-held parts of Aleppo were hit by four air strikes, a first in the city since a fragile nationwide ceasefire started a week ago. The origin of the air strikes, reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, is unknown. But the temporary truce is in doubt, especially after warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition hit Syrian forces, killing 62 soldiers, apparently unintentionally. Read more from the BBC.


— ON THIS DAY

From Ötzi the Iceman to Jimmy Fallon, here's your 57-second shot of history.


28%

More than one out of four Muslims in France consider sharia as more important than French secular law and, as a result, support the full veil and polygamy, a study published yesterday by the think-tank Institut Montaigne reveals. It also shows that a "silent majority" (46%) are either fully secularised or on the path to full integration.


PUTIN-BACKED PARTY WINS RUSSIA ELECTIONS

United Russia, the country's ruling party, won an outright majority in yesterday's parliamentary elections with more than 54% of ballots and 90% of the votes counted. The turnout was low, however, with just 47%.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

For many Germans, Murat Kurnaz is just a bearded Guantanamo inmate they may have seen on television. But for the country's refugees, as Oliver Das Gupta writes for German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, he is an important part of Germany — now serving as an official cultural and linguistic mediator: "The students learn of his story: how he went to Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in order to attend a madrasa for Islamic religious studies, but was sold to the U.S. for a bounty. The Americans held him captive, first in Afghanistan, then for five years in Guantanamo. Kurnaz was tortured. ... Due to his imprisonment, he feels particularly well-equipped to help refugees with their integration. Although he has no expert knowledge, his story lends him credibility."

Read the full article, A Former Guantanamo Prisoner Helps Refugees In Germany.


BERLIN VOTE BRINGS MORE BAD NEWS FOR MERKEL

Another election, another humbling defeat for Angela Merkel. In Berlin, the German Chancellor's CDU party registered its lowest score ever with 17.6% as the newcomers from the anti-immigration party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) garnered 14.2%. But for Berlin's newspaper Die Tageszeitung, the far-right's rise could, ironically and indirectly, lead to "a real alternative for Germany" by making a grand coalition of the left possible. Read more from our Extra feature here.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Fountain Of Youth — L'Aquila, 1978


VERBATIM

"The Brazil we love so much has shown the world what it can do," Carlos Nuzman, the president of Rio's organizing committee, said as the Rio Paralympic Games concluded at the Maracana stadium yesterday evening. Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, also paid tribute to Bahman Golbarnezhad, an Iranian cyclist, who died on Saturday after a road race crash. His passing, he said "has affected us all and left the whole Paralympic movement united in grief."


MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

GOT ON TOP AT EMMY AWARDS

It was a big night for Game of Thrones — which became the most decorated show ever — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and O. J. Simpson.


— Crunched by Margot Nicodème & Marc Alves

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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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