Centenarians

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Costa Rica - Plastic Ban (Harris Whitbeck) - The Central American nation of Costa Rica has long been at the forefront of progressive environmental policies. But it's lagged behind in one crucial area, the safe disposal of solid waste. But that could all change with their goal to end "single use" plastics by the year 2020 along with a new motto, "Say no to plastic". Our correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from San Jose, Costa Rica. Brazil - Samba Empire (Lucrecia Franco) - Some call it the greatest show south of the equator: the Samba parade in Rio. Thousands of dancers from Brazil's top Samba schools perform in extravagant costumes. This year, Brazilian dancers from the Imperio Serrano school are telling the story of China -from the Great Wall to the ancient Silk Road. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco follows their path. Musical - Black and White carnival - It is Carnival season. Festivities take place all over Latin America with many countries showcasing fantasy, color and dance. In Colombia, in the small town of El Pasto, thousands take part in the "Blacks and Whites" Carnival each year, a celebration recognized by UNESCO. We use the images of culture from the Andean, Amazonian and Pacific regions of the country for our end/musical piece this week.

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Americas Now

Chile - Church Scandals (Joel Richards) - When Pope Francis visited Chile in 2017 he received a lukewarm reception. Once one of the most Catholic countries in Latin America, Chileans' perception of the church has been challenged by revelations of widespread sexual abuse scandals dating back decades. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of victims. And prosecutors say the cover-up reaches the highest level of the Chilean church. The Pope is now taking action against members of the clergy in Chile. And he even invited three abuse survivors to Rome to speak with them and take their advice.

  • 2020-01-31T04:00:00-08:00
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Ecuador - Corruption Scandals (Dan Collyns) - Latin America has experienced a wave of corruption scandals over the past decade. It's resulted in continued backlash led by citizens and governments in several nations. While great strides have been made to strengthen institutions, establish accountability and root out fraud, allegations of graft continue to emerge. In Ecuador a series of corruption scandals have prompted a clampdown from the top down. As Correspondent Dan Collyns reports it's unclear how tangled the web of deception is.

  • 2020-01-31T17:00:00-08:00
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Colombia - Microfinances (Michelle Begue) - According to Colombia's National Statistics Department, 12.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Colombia in 2017. That translates into living on less than 88 dollars a month. For many of those residents dreams of having their own business seem impossible. But some industrious women, with some innovative ideas, have found support in the form of a financial service. And it's helping produce a long-term change in their lives. Correspondent Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota.

  • 2020-02-07T04:00:00-08:00
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Colombia - Competitiveness (Michelle Begue) - Colombia has been trying to alter its identity. For decades its reputation was tarnished by narco-trafficking and armed conflict. Now it's working to change its image to a Latin American nation with great potential for international investment. Recent global rankings like the World Bank's "Doing Business Report" and the Global Competitiveness Index, named Colombia one of the top-5 Latin American economies. But business owners and economists both say Colombia still has a lot of challenges ahead to remain competitive.

  • 2020-02-07T17:00:00-08:00
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Ecuador - Venezuela Exodus (Harris Whitbeck) - South America is experiencing its largest mass migration in recent history. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the economic hardship and political instability in their country...arriving at the borders of neighboring countries each day. Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all coping with intense pressure from the influx. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Ecuador, another country feeling the strain of the crisis -- and one that's already seen its share of mass migrations.

  • 2020-02-14T04:00:00-08:00
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El Salvador -Border Separation (Mike Kirsch) - The heartbreaking story of Alexa Ramos of El Salvador made headlines around the world. The infant was taken from her mother's arms by US Border Patrol agents after the two crossed illegally into the United States. Her mother was deported. Alexa was sent to live with a foster family in the US state of Michigan. The story symbolizes the pain and anguish hundreds of children like her are facing in the United States. They're separated from parents who in some cases they may never see again.

  • 2020-02-14T17:00:00-08:00
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Brazil - Children of Zika (Lucrecia Franco) - Between 2015 and 2017 some 3000 babies in Brazil were born with a rare condition. Their heads were much smaller than normal and their brains weren't fully developed. Doctors diagnosed those babies with "Microcephaly," a disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. And these cases were linked to Zika. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco visited the city of Recife, one of the country's most affected areas in the world for what is now called "Congenital Zika Syndrome", and brought us the story of the Zika Children.

  • 2020-02-21T04:00:00-08:00
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Colombia - Fragile X Syndrome (Michelle Begue) - For decades a small rural town in Colombia developed a reputation for having offbeat citizens who exhibited strange behavior. They became the focus of a scientific study that revealed they were actually victims of a gene mutation. It's called Fragile X. And it's a leading cause of physical, social and intellectual abnormalities. Correspondent Michelle Begue travelled to the town of Ricaurte to bring us this report.

  • 2020-02-21T17:00:00-08:00
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