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Latvia ran in 15 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest since its first participation at the turn of the millennium. The former Soviet satellite failed only to qualify in 2004 with expand=1] this song — we have no idea why it didn’t work, people probably forgot what real rock’n’roll was at the time.

But Latvia also failed to qualify for the finals in the last 6 editions, despite most of the songs being in English. This year, the 22-year-old singer Aminata will attempt to qualify with her song “Love Injected.”

Aminata was born in Riga, but her mother is of Latvian and Russian descent, and her father comes from Burkina Faso. This diversity, the young woman says, is what makes her strength.

Before stepping on stage, Aminata likes to listen to music in a dark corner, alone, speaking to no one.

Our vote:

Does it make you want to visit that country? 0.5/10

Was there enough glitter? 2.5/10

Ok to quit your day job? 1.25/10

OVERALL AVERAGE: 1.42/10

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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