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Geopolitics

State Of The Union, Philippines Deadly Clashes, When Gaddafi Insulted Sarkozy

Barack Obama and his Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications Dan Pfeiffer
Barack Obama and his Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications Dan Pfeiffer
Worldcrunch

UKRAINE PARLIAMENT DEBATES AMNESTY FOR PROTESTERS
The Ukrainian Parliament is expected to debate an amnesty for pro-EU protesters who are being detained after the recent clashes in Kiev and other cities around the country, German news agency DPA reports. According to the capital’s Deputy Mayor Anatoly Golubchenko, the property damage from the ongoing protests in the city center of Kiev exceeds $2.5 million.

DEADLY CLASHES WITH ISLAMISTS IN PHILIPPINES
At least 40 fighters from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have been killed in an assault launched by the Philippine army, Xinhua quotes a military official as saying. The rebels involved in the fighting want an independent Islamic state and have carried out deadly attacks over the last few years to thwart the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Read more from Philippine daily, The Inquirer.

THE LIMITS OF THE OBAMA AGENDA

After President Obama’s State of the Union address yesterday, several commentators highlighted what The New York Times characterized as “scaled-down ambition,” as Obama admitted his limited power to push his agenda Congress.

  • The Los Angeles Times asks “what happened to the visionary politician who promised that his inauguration would mark the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow?” and answer by simply saying: “Reality has sunk in.”

  • In The Guardian, American columnist Gary Younge notes that the speech “could have been written at almost any time since Obama took office,” since it offered little novelty, adding that “when Obama said “Let’s make this a year of action,” it made you wonder what they'd been doing these past five years.”

BANGKOK TO DEPLOY 10,000 POLICE OFFICERS ON ELECTION DAY
Thailand’s government announced that 10,000 police officers will be deployed in the capital of Bangkok on Sunday, in a bid to counter anti-government protesters who have pledged to prevent the vote from taking place by blocking polling stations,The Bangkok Postreports.

TURKISH LIRA ON THE RISE AGAIN AFTER INTEREST RATE MOVE
The Turkish lira soared after weeks of free fall, following a decision from the country’s Central Bank to ramp up interest rates, despite the opposition of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Read more from Reuters.

VERBATIM
In a 2011 interview to be broadcast for the first time today by France 3, late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi calls former French President Nicolas Sarkozy "mentally deficient"...

CRIME INT’L
Poetry can be dangerous, especially in Russia. See why.

HOW TO GET FREE MEALS
A cunning man in China found a simple and legal way (at least in China) to eat free meals for almost a year. Read more about it here.

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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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