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La Prensa, Feb. 12, 2016

"Welcome!" reads Friday's front page of Mexico City-based daily La Prensa, greeting Pope Francis as he's set for an afternoon arrival in Mexico for his first visit as pontiff.

Ahead of his five-day trip, which includes a visit to a prison in the crime-riddled city of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope urged Mexicans to battle against corruption and drug gang violence: "The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico wants," Reuters quoted the pope as saying in a video released by the Vatican last week.

Instead, La Prensa hopes the country will receive Pope Francis as the "Mexico that can sing and laugh, the land of mariachi and tequila."

The visit comes two days after 49 inmates were killed in a fight between rival groups at a prison near Monterrey, northern Mexico.

On his way to Mexico, the pontiff is scheduled to make a historic stop at Havana's airport in Cuba, where he will meet for a few hours with Patriarch Kirill the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in what AP calls "a ground-breaking step toward improving Catholic-Orthodox relations."

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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.

Keep reading...Show less

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