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Geopolitics

US Extends Closing Of Diplomatic Outposts Over Security Concerns

NEW YORK TIMES(USA)

Worldcrunch

WASHINGTON - Nineteen American diplomatic outposts across the Middle East and North Africa will remain closed this week, the State Department said Sunday, despite what officials said was no new information about terrorist plots that they believe are in the works.

One day after President Obama’s top national security aides huddled at the White House, senior lawmakers appeared on television on Sunday with ominous warnings about intelligence “chatter,” first revealed on Thursday, similar to what American spy agencies picked up in the weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Such is the strange, wait-and-see climate surrounding a threat that appears to be both specific and maddeningly vague. American officials say that they are confident they have intercepted electronic communications discussing attacks in the coming days, but that they have no clear information about where they should try to defend against them.

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U.S. embassy in Prague, Czech Republic - Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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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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