Frank Bruni ate his way through Bogotá to report on Colombia's rising culinary scene, and he found at least ten things to eat that make the flight to South America worth the time.

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South Korea and Colombia Monday agreed to speedily implement their bilateral, free-trade agreement signed in February, the Seoul government said. The decision was reached at a meeting in Seoul of South Korean Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick and Colombian Commerce Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados Guida, Yonhap News reported.

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July 5, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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July 4, 2013- News Clips - Colombia's Culinary Comeback

Dinnertime is upon us, stars are all around us, and what's before us on this blissfully balmy night in Colombia is no mere restaurant. It's a whirling, twinkling dream, a wonderland of colored lights—on the steadily rotating blades of the decorative windmills that line the street in front of the place; on the gently swaying branches of the trees skirting it; alongside the paths that lattice the parking lot, which is as vast as any amusement park's. As we shimmy into a spot, I catch my reflection in one of the car's windows. When do I ever smile this widely?

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British broadcaster BBC on Wednesday dedicated an episode of their online series “My City” to Colombia’s capital Bogota. In the five-minute presentation, Bogota native and BBC Mundo director Hernando Alvarez shows the viewer the lesser-known gems of Colombia’s capital.

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July 3, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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July 2, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Colombia’s Ambassador Carlos Urrutia hosted a reception last night for indigenous artists in town for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The festival, for which Colombia was the honoree in 2011, has a Hungarian theme this year.

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According to the Economic Analysis Department of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and data from Migration Colombia, Civil Aeronautics and Proexport visitors came through air, sea, and land immigration control points. The United States remains the largest source of international visitors, contributing 19.1% of the total who arrived to date of the report.

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July 1, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia has gone up 2.4% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, the country’s central bank announced Friday. In total, Colombia received $3.706 billion in foreign investment in the first three months of the year, said the central bank. In the first quarter of 2012, this was $3.617 billion.

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June 28, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Foreign visits to Colombia increased 4.6% in the first months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics of the country’s Trade Ministry. According to the ministry’s monthly statistics, nearly 685 thousand foreigners visited Colombia between January and April. Last year, the country received little more than 654 thousand foreign visitors.

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NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and the Defence Minister of Colombia, Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, on Tuesday ( 25 June 2013) signed an Agreement on the Security of Information, an accord that will allow NATO and Colombia to explore future cooperation and consultation in areas of common interest. "As an Alliance of democracies, we are gratified when countries sharing similar values reach out to us," the Deputy Secretary General said during his meeting with Minister Pinzon Bueno.

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June 25, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Four of Colombia’s cities were recently ranked among top 25 destinations in South America by travel website Trip Advisor. Among Trip Advisor’s “Top 25 destinations – South America,” were the Colombian cities of Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta and Cali.

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June 17, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Seventeen years ago, Andrés Angulo, a recently graduated doctor, rented an apartment, bought a whiteboard, and began training nurses and medical technicians. His first class was anatomy and he had just two students. Today, Campoalto, the educational institute he started with two colleagues, has eight campuses across Colombia’s capital, more than 8,000 active students and can boast more than 20,000 alumni. It has become the nation’s largest vocational health training school and has evolved beyond healthcare education to provide classes on auto mechanics, cooking and clothing manufacturing, among others. And soon, it will be operating in Miami.

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A senior executive at U.S. discount carrier Spirit Airlines Inc. is leaving to take the helm of Colombian startup carrier VivaColombia, highlighting the global expansion of the ultra-low-cost airline model. Spirit Executive Vice President Barry Biffle will become chief executive in August of VivaColombia, a far smaller carrier based in Medellín that is backed by the same investor group behind many of the ultra-low-cost airlines that have also sprung up in Europe and Asia.

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Jetblue Airways passengers can now book flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Medellin, Colombia. The airline launched the new route on Thursday and until June 17, customers can book fares as low as $164 one-way for travel between Sept. 5 and Nov. 7.

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday invited Israeli businesses to invest in the South American nation during a trade seminar in Tel Aviv. “Together we can create a tremendous synergy. That is why I wanted to come and express our interest, because we have many opportunities. We have many things that you need and you have many things that we need,” Santos declared during the last official meeting of his visit to Israel.

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On Monday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos finalized a free trade deal with Israel during a meeting with Israeli Head of State Shimon Peres. The conclusion of the free trade agreement with Israel comes after 15 months of negotiations with the Middle Eastern nation. The agreement is now subject to ratification by both Colombian and Israeli parliament.

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June 7, 2013- News Clips - Colombian Navy Tall Ship Visits Honolulu

A Colombian naval ship is visiting Honolulu starting this weekend. The three-masted ARC Gloria is making a port call at Aloha Tower starting Friday. It's scheduled to stay through Tuesday. The large sailing ship is a training vessel of the Colombian Naval School. It also serves as an ambassador of Colombia while abroad.

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Colombia produced 1.01 million barrels of oil a day in May, a sharp rise from the same month of 2012 and little changed from the previous four months of this year. The Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement crude oil output last month was 8.3% higher from the 935,000 barrels a day it produced in May 2012. So far this year, production has averaged just above or just below the 1 million-barrel-a-day mark, which is the government's target production rate.

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June 4, 2013- News Clips - The New Colombia

Policy reforms, improved security and a commodities boom have lead to Colombia’s emergence as one of Latin America’s investment hotspots - but challenges still lie ahead.

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June 4, 2013- News Clips - Joe Biden: The Americas Ascendant

Last week, during a five-day trip through Latin America and the Caribbean, I visited a cut-flower farm outside Bogota, Colombia, an hour's drive from downtown that would have been impossibly dangerous 10 years ago. Along the way I passed office parks, movie theaters and subdivisions, interspersed with small ranches and family businesses. At the flower farm, one-quarter of the workers are female heads of households. The carnations and roses they were clipping would arrive in U.S. stores within days, duty free.

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May 31, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 29, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Vice President Biden in Bogota on Monday praised Colombian President Juan Manuel Santo’s work to bring an end to his country’s civil war and heralded closer economic ties in the region.

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May 28, 2013- News Clips - Vice President Biden Travels to Colombia

Marking his fourth visit to the region since taking office, Vice President Biden left D.C. on Sunday for a trip to Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil. Following President Obama’s recent visit to Mexico and Costa Rica, the trip is the latest demonstration of the United States’ commitment to reinforcing partnerships in the Americas. The Vice President began his trip in Bogota, where he held a bilateral meeting with President Juan Miguel Santos of Colombia, and highlighted the country’s remarkable progress on security issues as well as the importance of our economic relationship.

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