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Geopolitics

Syria's Future, "Gay-Free" Sochi, John Paul II's Blood

French electro duo Daft Punk got lucky at the 56th Grammy Awards
French electro duo Daft Punk got lucky at the 56th Grammy Awards
Worldcrunch

SYRIA TALKS TO FOCUS ON TRANSITION
Talks about Syria’s future are due to continue today in Geneva and will focus on the thorny issue of power transfer, amid reports that the Israeli air force bombed a Syrian base in the town of Latakia. Yesterday, both parties agreed to let women and children leave the besieged city of Homs, where humanitarian aid should arrive soon, government officials told Al Jazeera.

UKRAINE’S JUSTICE MINISTER WARNS PROTESTERS TO LEAVE MINISTRY

  • Ukrainian Justice Minister Olena Lukash warned EuroMaidan protesters who have been occupying her ministry since last night that she would call for a state of emergency if they do not leave the premises, describing acts of vandalism inside the building, Interfax reports.

  • Protests in Ukraine have spread to the center and western parts of the country, after opposition leaders refused President Yanukovych’s offer of the prime minister and deputy prime minister posts Saturday. Read more from AFP.

  • In a letter published by Voice of Russia, a riot police officer complains of “fabricated” reports in the media, portraying the Berkut as “fascists,” and describes how an 18-year-old officer was “crucified” by the protesters without it being reported.

THAI ELECTION SHOULD BE POSTPONED, SAY ELECTION OFFICIALS
Thailand’s Election Commission recommended that the early election, planned for next Sunday, should be delayed for at least a month, Reuters reports. This comes after violent clashes erupted yesterday near voting stations, with anti-government protesters blocking access to the sites. One protester died and 12 others were injured. According to The Bangkok Post, a total of 10 people were killed in the protests, since they began in November 2013.

RELATIVES OF KIM JONG-UN’S UNCLE ALL EXECUTED?
All direct relatives of North Korea’s former No. 2 — Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek — have been executed, news agencyYonhap reports anonymous sources as saying. Among the people believed to have been targeted are officials such as the ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, as well as children.

VERBATIM
The mayor of Sochi, the Russian city where the Winter Olympics will be hosted starting next month, has declared that there are no gay people in his town.

BY THE NUMBERS
Brazil is investing big in Cuba, giving the Communist government credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars to buy Brazilian products and services.

GRAMMY AWARDS CELEBRATE FRENCH ELECTRO
French duo Daft Punk were the big winners of the 56th Grammy Awards. Read about the highlights.

BLOOD OF POPE JOHN PAUL II STOLEN
A relic containing a few drops of former Pope John Paul II’s blood has been stolen from an Italian church in the Abruzzo region, leading to a frenzied police search, Italian media first reported. Authorities believe the theft may have been commissioned, NBC News reports.

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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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