Centenarians

Americas Now

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. A conversation with President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela - In June of 2017 Panama and China made history by establishing diplomatic relations. Fast forward a year and a lot has happened. President Varela made an official state visit to Beijing to sign a series of agreements. During this time, the two nations implemented more than 20 deals and a free trade agreement is also a part of the political sphere. "Americas Now" anchor Elaine Reyes had the opportunity to sit down with President Varela. They discussed Panama-China relations and Latin America's current political and economic situation. Urban Voices - Argentina Artisan Knife Maker (Joel Richards) - Damascus steel is made by an ancient technique of welding patterns onto swords and knives. It is a craft -- only a handful of artisans still use. One of them is a man from Argentina. He works alone in his workshop on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and sells his creations around the world. Our "Urban Voice" is knife master and bladesmith ... Guillermo Mendoza. Musical - Magic Tree - South America is home to a highly-coveted tree that used to be plentiful -- but almost became extinct from deforestation. It's being nurtured back to life on Colombia's Caribbean coast. Nicknamed "The Magic Tree"...its nutritious fruit has many uses. And its sap possesses medicinal qualities. We leave you with these images of the Guaimaro tree.

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Americas Now

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.

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Americas Now

Peru - Amazon Reforestation (Dan Collyns) - Peru's Amazon most bio-diverse ecosystem is in the Madre de Dios region. It's also one of the most under threat from deforestation. The primary culprits are illegal logging, gold mining and livestock farming. The past decade has been especially devastating for the region. Correspondent Dan Collyns visited the area to survey the damage. He also spoke to some scientists who are finding innovative ways to fight back. Mexico - Firework Town (Alasdair Baverstock) - Fireworks have been dazzling spectators at celebrations across the world for centuries.

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Americas Now

El Salvador - Reforming Gangsters - In 20-18 the United States deported more than 250-thousand people...according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Almost 6,000 of them -- where known or suspected gang members. Prisons in countries like El Salvador are packed with deportees. But as correspondent Mike Kirsch reports... some ARE trying to make an honest living...and kissing the American Dream...good-bye. Costa Rica - Lionfish Invasion - They are exotic, beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch as they swim the warm waters of the Caribbean.

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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.

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Argentina - Argentine Peso Crisis (Harris Whitbeck) - A year ago the future looked bright for Argentina. President Mauricio Macri had helped the country dodge a recession and the stock market was booming. But this year, as deep reforms were being implemented into the economy, fiscal disaster struck. And the nation has plunged into an economic crisis. At the center of this financial storm is the beleaguered Argentine peso, and its relationship to the US dollar.

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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.

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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.

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Mexico - The other Migration (Mike Kirsch) - In the last 30 years more than a million Mexican scientists, researchers and intellectuals have left Mexico to find work in other countries. That's according to the Mexican government. The exodus has been referred to as an epic "brain drain." Another 160 thousand college graduate students have also left the country with very few of them planning to return. The government is now trying to lure them back. Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports.

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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.

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Brazil - Housing Crisis (Maria Valls) - Sao Paulo is Brazil's financial capital and one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in Latin America. The city of 12 million suffers from vast economic inequality, which drives poor families to occupy and squat in empty abandoned buildings throughout the municipality. The issue drew international attention in 2018 when a 24-story building occupied by squatters collapsed. Correspondent Maria Valls reports from Sao Paulo.

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Americas Now

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.

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