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Geopolitics

Turkey And ISIS, Paranoid Kirchner, Moon's Square Side

A pro-democracy protestor rests under an umbrella.
A pro-democracy protestor rests under an umbrella.

TURKEY EXPECTED TO JOIN ANTI-ISIS COALITION
Today could see the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition expand, as the Turkish Parliament is expected to vote on whether to send Turkish troops into Iraq and Syria to fight against the terrorists and whether to allow foreign troops to use Turkish military bases, newspaper Today’s Zaman reports. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under growing pressure, as the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan, said that peace talks between his group and the Turkish government would end if Turkey lets ISIS “massacre” Kurds on the Syrian border town of Kobani. But Ankara’s recent support of anti-ISIS strikes and its possible participation in the coalition will raise questions because of previous reports that it helped arm, finance and treat ISIS fighters.

CHINA WARNS HONG KONG PROTESTERS
China has warned Hong Kong protesters of “unimaginable consequences” if they don’t end the “illegal” pro-democracy demonstrations that have brought a halt to the finance hub for five consecutive days, The Washington Post reports. In a similar move, the Hong Kong police said there would be serious consequences if protesters act on their threat to occupy government buildings unless Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying resigns by the end of the day. British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in The Daily Telegraph that China’s Xi Jinping “will surely play for time, hoping the protests will fizzle ... or try to buy them off quietly” because yielding would likely encourage a similar movement on the mainland.

REBELS GO FOR DONETSK AIRPORT
Rebel fighters have launched a new attack on the Donetsk airport, which is held by Ukrainian government forces, the latest of many attempts in recent weeks, the BBC reports. According to a military official, seven rebels were killed as Kiev forces repelled the attacks. This comes after two shells, including one that hit a school, killed 11 people yesterday, an attack that both sides blamed on the other. In a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel “emphasized the responsibility Russia has to exert a moderating influence on pro-Russian separatists.” Read more from Reuters.

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The rate of Ebola infections in Sierra Leone has now reached five new cases per hour, according to Save the Children, a leading charity in the region. This means demands for health care are by far outstripping demand. Reporting from a hospital in the city of Makeni, The New York Times depicts the horrific conditions in which the patients are kept.

NORTH KOREA UPGRADES ROCKET LAUNCH
Despite heavy UN sanctions after a rocket launch and a third nuclear test almost two years ago, North Korea has completed a major upgrade of a rocket launch site that enables Pyongyang to fire longer-range missiles, the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said. The report, based on satellite imagery, explains that although there is no evidence it will happen, “a rocket could be launched by the end of 2014.” Read more from The New York Times.

VERBATIM
“If something should happen to me, don’t look to the Middle East, look to the North,” Argentina President Cristina Kirchner said this week, suggesting there’s a U.S. plot to overthrow her government and kill her.

THE SQUARE SIDE OF THE MOON
Scientists have discovered that a rocky ridge on the moon they believed was the edge of an asteroid impact is in fact a giant square rift valley that acted as a “magma plumbing system” for volcanoes billions of years ago.

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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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