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As they held the sleepy three-month-old child, a priestess sprinkled holy water infused with rose petals on her in front of 300 people under a 22-meter (72-foot) statue of the Grim Reaper-like "Santa Muerte" in a Mexico City suburb. When Pope Francis arrives in Mexico for a five-day visit on Friday, he will find a country where devotion to Santa Muerte is growing fast despite the Vatican's rejection of the figure as blasphemous. Every Sunday, a big crowd comes to Enriqueta Vargas' outdoor temple in Tultitlan to pray in front of the black fiber-glass statue, which was erected in 2007 in a lot and can be seen from a busy boulevard.
Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen is having to recall 680,000 cars in the United States owing to possible faulty airbags supplied by Japanese maker Takata, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. Already a day earlier, VW's domestic rival Daimler announced it was recalling 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136,000 Daimler vans after being informed by US authorities of a potential fault in the Takata airbags.