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Clinton: I'm Responsible For Benghazi. Will It Take Heat Off Obama?

CNN (U.S.), AFP (France)

Worldcrunch

Republican Senator John McCain has praised U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for taking responsibility for the security failure in Benghazi, Libya, last month that led to four American deaths.

After Clinton's statements in a CNN interview Monday night, AFP reports that McCain issued a joint statement with fellow Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham: "This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever."

Indeed, the same three Republican Senators who praised Clinton are insisting that the affair is a failure on President Barack Obama's part for the attacks on September 11 that left four embassy staffers dead, including that of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

The security failure in Benghazi has become a focal point in the Republicans' criticism of President Obama's foreign policy in the previous presidential and vice-presidential debates. Clinton's interview comes ahead of the second presidential debate that will take place in Hempstead, New York on Tuesday evening just three weeks before election day.

Speaking to CNN Monday night, Clinton addressed the security breakdown in Benghazi. "I take responsibility," Clinton said. "The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."

Clinton also explained why the administration had repeatedly asserted that the attacks on the U.S. consulate were demonstrations against the anti-Islam film the Innocence of Muslims, even though it is now widely believed that they were deliberate attacks.

She said there is always "confusion" in the first hours after an attack, however, she ensured that security decisions were being reviewed.

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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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