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AP, CNN, REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST (USA)

Worldcrunch

CLEVELAND - Ariel Castro, 52, the man charged with keeping three women captive for almost a decade will appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

Castro is accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, between 2002 and 2004. At the time, they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

They were held captive until one of them escaped on Monday.

On Wednesday Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping – covering the three women and a daughter born to Berry in captivity – as well as three counts of rape.

Reuters reports that he owns the house where the women were oppressively kept in dungeon-like squalid conditions, where they were raped, starved, beaten, and kept in chains.

The police had detained two of Castro’s brothers on Monday but they were later released, as they appeared to have no involvement with this crime, according to the AP.

The Washington Post notes that they both have outstanding warrants for separate misdemeanor cases and will also face a judge Thursday on those matters.

Castro, a school bus driver who lost his job last fall, had been thought to live alone in the house by neighbors. CNN writes that they describe him as “a very outgoing person, a nice man,” but in hindsight “he had been fooling us.”

The alarm was raised on Monday when Amanda Berry managed to get the attention of a neighbor and escape when Castro briefly left the premises.

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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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