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A federal ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Alabama took effect Monday. But in up to 52 of the state's 67 counties, most judges refused to go through with processing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, the International New York Times reports in its issue Tuesday.

Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Alabama's judges to disobey the legalization. The Times reports that the order escalates "a legal showdown that echoed the battles over desegregation here in the 1960s."

Marriage licenses to same-sex couples were however issued "quickly" in some of the state's largest cities such as Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The International New York Times is the global edition ofThe New York Times, which was founded in 1851. The global edition was formerly called the International Herald Tribune, which was originally founded in 1887 as the Paris Herald, the European edition of the New York Herald.

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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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