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Americas Now

Mexico - Smuggled Arms (Mike Kirsch) - The gun laws in Mexico are among the toughest in the world. There's only one gun store in the entire country which is run by the military. But every year 250-thousand firearms are being sold on the black market. As Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports from Mexico City they're being smuggled into the hands of criminal organizations by an unknown third-party from the United States. Belize - Endangered Reef (John Zarrella) - One of the world's great treasures lies just off the coast of the Central America the nation of Belize. Just below the surface, a magnificent coral reef spans the entire length of the country. It was declared a World Heritage Site more than twenty years ago. But today, the reef is under attack. Coastal development, oil exploration and rising water temperatures are taking their toll on this jewel of the Caribbean. Correspondent John Zarrella went to Belize to see what's being done to save the reef from ruin. Musical - Up In the Air (Reuters 8066681) - We end our show with a story that will take you up and away. Each November hot-air balloons rise into the Mexican sky in a dazzling display of color at the Leon International Balloon Festival. Liftoff for this high-flying fiesta begins at 7 in the morning so spectators arrive early. Then, a night show takes place later in the evening.

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Mexico - Tech-Mex - Part of U.S. President Donald Trumps' "get-tough" policy is expected to include an increase in the expulsion of undocumented citizens to their home countries. Mexico is one of the nations that might face the largest number of returnees. For many of them it could feel like starting over as they know little about the language and culture of their country of origin. That makes things like finding a job difficult. But the digital startup sector in Mexico is viewing the return of migrants from the U.S. as an opportunity.

  • 2019-01-21T22:30:00-08:00
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Americas Now

Witness - Chasing Pablo Escobar ( CP) - In the late 1980's, two DEA agents volunteered to work on a top-secret mission. It ended up taking down the world's wealthiest criminal empire at the time, the Medellin Drug Cartel in Colombia and its leader Pablo Escobar. The story of Javier Pena and Steve Murphy inspired the hit "Netflix" drama "Narcos." Americas Now had the opportunity to sit down with the intrepid investigators to hear their incredible tale.

Americas Now

Guatemala - Girls at Risk (Harris Whitbeck) - It was an event that shocked the entire country and made headlines around the world. 42 girls, locked up in a state home for children in Guatemala --burned to death. The fire broke out following protests and accusations of poor conditions and abuse. The incident also revealed many of the vulnerabilities faced by young people. More than a year after the tragedy the victim's relatives are still looking for answers. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck tells us more about Guatemala's girls at risk.

  • 2019-01-28T22:30:00-08:00
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Honduras - Child Marriage Ban - According to The World Bank, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 globally. It's a phenomenon that's common in many poor nations around the world. One of the countries with the highest rates of underage marriage has been Honduras. But in 2017 lawmakers passed a landmark ruling which raised the marital age from 16 to 18. The new law is a big adjustment for Honduras where marrying very young has always been part of the culture. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck takes a look at how difficult banning a practice can be when it's so steeped in tradition.

Americas Now

Guatemala - Unearthing Answers - Guatemala is one of the Central American countries that suffered the most during the Cold War - a time of post-World War Two tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. In particular a civil conflict in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996 that left hundreds of thousands dead -- and tens of thousands missing. More than two decades after the end of the conflict, forensic anthropologists are helping families who have been searching for their disappeared loved ones. Harris Whitbeck explains from Guatemala City.

  • 2019-02-04T22:30:00-08:00
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Americas Now

Immigrant Caravan - Migration remains one of President Donald Trump's political pressure points, as he promises to crack down on illegal immigration like never before. But with buzzwords like 'catch-and-release' flying around, it's difficult to sort facts from political fiction. Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock looks deeper into the issue. Students Crossing - The best way to assess the impact of U.S. immigration policy on children of deported parents is to spend the day with them. That's according to child welfare authorities.

  • 2019-02-08T04:00:00-08:00
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Ecuador- Electronic Currency (Harris Whitbeck) - Ecuador is the first Latin American country to enter the digital currency world, rolling out its version of the electronic money in 2015. But its implementation hasn't been easy. Not many consumers are convinced of its benefits. Private bankers and members of the business community claim it doesn't work and are afraid it will be an excuse for the government to change the current legal tender -the dollar- for a "national" currency. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Quito.

  • 2019-02-08T17:00:00-08:00
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Americas Now

Brazil - Black Pride (Stephen Gibbs) - Brazil is sometimes portrayed as one of the world's harmonious, multi-ethnic "rainbow nations." But the truth is more complicated. For generations, white Brazilians have enjoyed preferential treatment over their black counterparts. It's been especially noticeable in higher education. Most publicly-funded universities are filled by white students, even though half of all Brazilians are of African descent. To reverse that trend, the government has adopted a quota policy.

  • 2019-02-11T22:30:00-08:00
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Lifeline for Haiti - In recent years -- money sent by Latinos abroad.. .to their families back home -- has grown. In fact...from 20-16 to 20-17...they sent a total of 75-billion dollars...a new record, according to the World Bank. The money...called, remittances reflect the rise of migration across the continent..."two-thirds" of migrants from Latin America -- live in the United States. One of the countries that receives the most -- is Haiti, where the money accounts for almost 35-percent of the GDP.

  • 2019-02-15T04:00:00-08:00
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Dengue Vaccine & No Smoking In Panama

Mexico - Dengue Vaccine (Gerry Hadden) Dengue sickens some 390 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization. The tropical disease is spread by mosquitoes and can cause high fever, the chills, vomiting - and in severe cases- hemorrhaging and death. There is no cure. But now there is a vaccine. It's being rolled out in a handful of countries, including Mexico. Americas Now correspondent Gerry Hadden reports from Morelos State in Mexico. Panama - No Smoking (Harris Whitbeck) - The use of tobacco products is still prevalent in Latin America.

  • 2019-02-15T17:00:00-08:00
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Argentina - White Gold (Joel Richards) - The stunningly beautiful salt flats that span the north of Argentina and Chile as well as the south of Bolivia form what's known as the Lithium Triangle. More than half of the world's reserves of lithium are found there. The metal is a vital component in batteries and with the electric car market growing at a rapid rate, demand for lithium is expected to triple by 2025. But there are environmental concerns. Especially the effect extraction could have on local indigenous communities.

  • 2019-02-18T22:30:00-08:00
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