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LA REPUBLICA (Peru)

LIMA - A government geological institute in Lima has confirmed what many Peruvians are already keenly aware of: there's a whole lot of shaking going on.

Already in 2012, Peru has registered 66 quakes, according to the Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP). On average, the coastal country – which is part of the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire – experiences between 150 and 170 temblors per year.

With this kind of rumbling regularity, Peruvians tend to be blasé about quakes, even in the populous capital of Lima, where an 8.1-magnitude quake in 1974 killed an estimated 50,000. But a report by the Peruvian government's Institute Nacional de Defensa Civil (INDECI) suggests that the city's 7.5 million residents indeed have cause for concern. In the case of an 8.0-magnitue quake or larger, "the capital could suffer more than 50,000 deaths and more than 400,000 injuries," La Republica reported.

So much for learning from history.

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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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