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Geopolitics

Asylum-Seeker Boat Carrying 200 People Sinks Off Indonesia

Worldcrunch

THE AUSTRALIAN, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (Australia)

A boat carrying about 200 asylum-seekers bound for Australia has capsized off the Indonesian coast.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports an Australian Customs surveillance aircraft spotted a boat in distress about 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island.

According to the The Australian daily newspaper, Australian search and rescue authorities have requested permission to enter Indonesian air space to assist searching for the boat. Three merchant vessels and two Australian military ships are on their way. Indonesia has dispatched two Navy ships. A number of civilian boats are also responding to the disaster.

Three other boats, carrying about 238 people, adds the Sydney Morning Herald, were intercepted near Christmas Island in the past 24 hours. So far this year, more than 4800 asylum seekers have already risked the perilous journey to Australia by sea, many of them from Sri Lanka.

Christmas Island, an island situated halfway between Australia and Indonesia, is a popular destination for boatpeople, who can apply for refugee status in Australia once they've landed on the island.

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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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