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Germany

Can A Worker Be Fired For Getting High In His Free Time?

DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - A 25-year-old track layer was fired by Berlin's public transportation company BVG for smoking hash on the weekend, Die Welt reports. A court decision in the Denny W. case could set a precedent in German law with regard to whether an employee in a sector where public safety is an issue can consume recreational drugs -- off job premises, in their free time -- that may still be in their system when they return to work.

The case emerged after Denny W. applied for an additional job qualification as truck driver, and needed to pass a medical to get the license. The doctor refused to clear him based on the results of urine analysis and drug screening, and also questioned his suitability for his track-laying job. After a follow-up set of tests yielded the same results, Denny W. was fired. The BVG cited concern for safety as the reason, Die Welt reported.

The court will announce its verdict on August 28.

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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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