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Andreas Lubitz, the 27-year-old German co-pilot who authorities believe deliberately crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 Tuesday in the French Alps, had been treated for a “major depressive episode” in 2009, the German daily Bild reported Friday.

Quoting internal Lufthansa documents and sources, the German tabloid reports that Lubitz went through an 18-month psychiatric treatment and was forced to repeat his flying classes because of depression before finishing his training.

According to Bild’s report, a Lufthansa flight school in Phoenix, Arizona, where Lubitz was trained, had designated him as “not suitable for flying” at the time. In 2009, the coding “SIC” appeared on the pilot’s license, meaning he could fly but had to be the subject of “special regular medical examination.”

Investigators are now examining whether Lubitz, who is believed to have been living between his parents’ home in the German town of Montabaur and an apartment in Dusseldorf, had been suffering from a “personal life crisis.” Bild says he may have had a relationship crisis with his girlfriend of seven years.

Lufthansa refused to release any comment Friday on Lubitz’ health. Meanwhile, German police said they made a “significant discovery” at his home in Dusseldorf that could be a “clue” as to what made him down the aircraft.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Bild is Germany’s best-selling newspaper, often criticized for its sensationalism but praised for its extensive network of sources. It has the sixth-largest circulation worldwide.

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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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