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Geopolitics

Corruption Trial Of Disgraced Chinese Official Bo Xilai Begins

New York Times, China Daily, BBC

Worldcrunch

JINAN The trial of Bo Xilai, the disgraced former Communist official accused of corruption, bribery and abuse of power, began Thursday morning in the eastern provincial capital of Jinan, according to China Daily. One of the most serious charges against him relates to his wife’s role in the murder of a British businessman.

As the morning session ended, an official microblog posted by the court said Bo Xilai, who was an official in southwest China’s Chongqing for four years, denied taking bribes from a businessman named Tang Xiaolin. The bribes were a fraction of the more than $3.4 million that he and his immediate family members are accused of accepting. According to The New York Times, people briefed on the case said another businessman, Xu Ming, had offered most of the bribes, but Bo did not address that in the morning session.

The BBC reported that Bo is expected to be found guilty. The 64-year-old's downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit the Chinese ruling elite in decades. He was seen as a top leader and a candidate for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China's seven-member top decision-making body.

Bo could face the death penalty, though financial crimes are often commuted to life sentences. According to the BBC, the hearings are to last two days with a verdict likely to come in early September.

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Photo: Chinese state media

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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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