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U.N. may ask Syrian President al-Assad to step down

The U.N. Security Council will take up a draft resolution this week that calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and transfer power.

(CNN) Damas - The move follows news that the Arab League suspended a mission to monitor whether al-Assad was abiding by an agreement to end a brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby arrived Monday in New York where he was scheduled to deliver the monitoring mission's findings to the Security Council the following day.

The news came amid opposition reports of renewed fighting Monday between Syrian forces and the rebel Free Syria Army in suburbs of the capital city of Damascus, where Syria forces have been battling to take back neighborhoods in Saqba and Maleiha.

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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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