Centenarians

Americas Now

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 reflects 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. Correspondent John Zarrella visited the island nation to examine the financial impact this flow of income - has on residents. Medical Tourism - The pressure to attain the perfect face or body has led to a booming plastic surgery industry. Latin America has "two" of the leading destinations for these operations. Brazil and Colombia are among the top 10 countries in the world for performing the medical procedures in 20-16. That's according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. But because the industry isn't regulated, the surgeries aren't always safe. Correspondent Michelle Begue has more from Bogota.

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Americas Now

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

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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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