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Top Woman Executive In China Denies Taking "African Gigolos" As Bribe

BEIJING TIMES (CHINA) CHINA TIMES (Taiwan)

Worldcrunch

BEIJING - Over the last few days, China’s blogosphere has been heating up with spicy rumors that could stretch all the way back to Silicon Valley: a female director of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) has been accused of accepting gigolos as bribes from an American tech firm.

The woman executive, whose family name is Zhang, denied the charges, calling the story a malicious slander, and reporting it to Beijing police on Thursday.

According to the Beijing Times, it was a blogger who first reported allegations related to a bid for the massive Sinopec Wuhan ethylene project by Agilent Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that manufactures electronic and bio-analytical measurement instruments. To help win the bid of around 18 billion RMB ($2.86 billion), Agilent allegedly paid for Zhang to enjoy the personal services provided by two African gigolos, and videotaped the encounter to use as eventual blackmail.

The accusation gave meticulous details about the affair. The bribery included a luxurious dinner followed by a trip to a private club on the outskirts of Beijing reserved for rich and powerful women, the China Times reported. The main feature of the club is that it boasts the services of “tall and mighty African gigolos with extraordinary skills.”

The accuser also stated that Zhang colluded with Agilent Technologies so that during the evaluation process the latter lowered its tendered price to be sure to get the business, according to the Beijing Times.

In a country where the public is used to seeing powerful male officials competing to have the most mistresses possible, the latest accusation has gotten extra attention.

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Sinopec HQ (whispertome)

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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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