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Iraq

Targeted Bombings In Baghdad Kill 44 Shia Muslims

BBC, AL JAZEERA (Qatar), AFP

Worldcrunch

BAGHDAD Coordinated bombings in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad killed at least 44 people and wounded 157 more Wednesday, the BBC reports.Aimed at the Shia Muslim community, bombs exploded during rush hour in most of the city’s Shia neighborhoods and in two mixed towns to its south.

A police source told Al Jazeera that explosions went off at more than 10 different locations, and that there were both car bombs and suicide attacks. The deadliest explosion was in the southeastern Bagdad neighborhood of Jisr al-Diyala, where a car bomb killed at least seven people.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack, although Sunni Muslim militants linked to al-Qaeda frequently target Shia Muslims.

Tensions have increased between the two Sunni and Shia Muslim communities in Iraq in recent months, with the Sunnis — who represent about 30% of the country’s Muslim population — claiming that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government marginalizes them. Correspondents told the BBC that the deep-rooted sectarian tensions have also been aggravated by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

The United Nations released figures showing that July was one of Iraq’s deadliest months in years with 1,057 people killed, most of them civilians.

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Security personnel investigating at a car bombing site in the north of Baghdad in October 2012. Photo: Dina Asaad — Xinhua/ZUMA

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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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