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EFE, EL MUNDO DEPORTIVO (Spain); CLARIN (Argentina); CALCIO MERCATO (Italy)

Worldcrunch

VATICAN CITY - Argentina happens to be blessed right now with the world's greatest active soccer player and the current Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. On Wednesday, the two Argentine icons got a bit closer when Pope Francis was presented with the No. 10 Barcelona jersey of Argentine striker Lionel Messi.

Spain's news agency EFE writes that at Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Spanish-born Vatican official Miguel Delgado Galindo handed Francis a signed Messi jersey from his club team FC Barcelona.

Screengrab from CTV

Along with his Barcelona teammates, Messi has spoken of his wish to meet his compatriot Pope Francis. In a letter published by El Mundo Deportivo, and signed by Messi, the president of the team invited Pope Francis to come and watch a match at their Camp Nou stadium.

On Monday, Pope Francis met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who presented the pontiff with the jersey of Spain's national team, winner of the both the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

According to Clarin, they discussed, among other things, the Clericus Cup -- the Vatican’s Soccer tournament.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Pope Francis a signed Spain shirt on his trip to the Vatican twitter.com/FootieGossMan/…

— Football Gossip Man(@FootieGossMan) April 16, 2013

It’s a well known fact that humble Francis has been a long-time supporter of the long-struggling San Lorenzo de Almagro team in Buenos Aires, which honored him by placing his picture on a commemorative jersey for the team last month, writes Italian sports site Calcio Mercato.

San Lorenzo De Almagro

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Green

Where Everyone's Rationing Water  — Except The Coca-Cola Plant

In the northern Italian region of Veneto, drought has forced half the municipalities to ration water resources. In contrast, the region's Coca-Cola plant has upped production, using even more water that it gets for a cheap price.

Coca Cola ad in Rome, Italy

Angelo Mastrandrea

NOGARA — On the morning of Sat., July 9, several hundred activists from the Rise Up 4 Climate Justice movement arrived at the Nogara train station from all over the Veneto region, in northeastern Italy, and then walked to the town's industrial area. They were headed to the local Coca-Cola plant to protest its "extractivist" policies, which are based on hoarding resources at the expense of the local community.

In the Verona region, drought has caused a severe water crisis that has forced half of the municipalities to restrict water use. On the other hand, Coca-Cola, which uses water as its main raw material, has not slowed production.

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