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Banishing America's 'Bad Hombres'
President Donald Trump has pledged to chase what he called the 'bad hombres' out of America. One of the organisations the President is targeting is the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang, better known as MS-13 whose members deal in drugs, human smuggling and underage prostitution. They aggressively recruit young Latino immigrants in U.S. cities and suburban communities and have recently been responsible for a number of shockingly brutal murders, including the killing of two teenage girls with machetes and baseball bats. Lucy Ash travels to Long Island in New York and to Maryland to investigate. She asks what impact such crimes have on the heated debate about illegal border crossings and she asks if tougher immigration policies will really make America safe again.
Elephants, Politics and Sri Lanka
Every year elephants kill dozens of people in Sri Lanka. Hundreds of these huge mammals are slaughtered too - often by farmers attempting to protect their land. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly travels to the east of the island - one of the regions devastated by over two decades of civil war. Thousands of people fled their homes during the fighting, and in their absence, the elephants moved in. With peace came resettlement, but many villages are now forced to negotiate a precarious existence with the wild herds, and death-by-elephant is not uncommon. Meanwhile, the government is attempting to take action against the illegal ownership of elephants, and prosecutions are in train. In Sri Lanka, elephants are a status symbol for the rich and powerful, and they are also highly revered in Buddhist culture - no pageant is complete without a slow-moving procession of elephants. But there are claims the confiscation of illegally-kept animals has created a shortage for religious rituals, and criticisms that the government is over-responding to the animal rights lobby. In a fractured nation, elephants are becoming increasingly politicised. Linda Pressly reporting.
Living with the Dead
Since the beginning of time, man has lived in awe and fear of death, and every culture has faced its mystery through intricate and often ancient rituals. Few, however, are as extreme as those of the Torajan people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Here, the dead are a constant presence, with corpses often kept in family homes for many years. When funerals are eventually held, they don't mean goodbye. Once every couple of years, the dead are dug back out for a big family reunion. Is this a morbid obsession? Or could it be a positive way of dealing with the grief of losing a loved one? For Crossing Continents, Sahar Zand enters these remarkable communities where the dividing line between this world and the next is like a thin veil - a place with lessons for all of us. Exploring these traditions, Sahar seeks to understand the Torajan way of death and finds it changing her own thinking towards the loss of her own father. Producers Rebecca Henschke and Bob Howard.
Wives Wanted in the Faroes
Men in the Faroe Islands are having to look far beyond their shores for marriage. The remote, windswept archipelago between Norway and Iceland, with close ties to Denmark, has seen an influx of women from South-East Asia who have come to marry Faroese men. In recent years the islands have been experiencing a declining population. Young women in particular have been leaving the islands, often for education, and not returning. One complaint from them is that their close-knit community has too conservative and masculine a culture where sheep farming, hunting and fishing are still dominant. For some women Faroese society is simply too small, too constraining. There are now approximately 2,000 fewer women of marriageable age in the total population of 50,000. In response, some men have been looking elsewhere for partners, from countries like Thailand and the Philippines. For Crossing Continents, Tim Ecott meets these foreign women adjusting to life in this isolated group of islands where the elements are harsh and the language impenetrable. John Murphy producing.
Cuba's Cancer Revolution
Lung cancer is America's biggest cancer killer. But there is hope: the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has sanctioned trials of CimaVax - a treatment created in Cuba that has extended the lives of hundreds of patients on the island. This is the first time a Cuban drug has been tested in the US. American cancer patients got wind of CimaVax five years ago. Patients like Judy Ingels - an American with a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis - arrive regularly in Havana, hoping for a miracle. It's traffic that's increased since the US / Cuba thaw. The creation of Cuba's biotech industry was Fidel Castro's idea back in the 1980s. Today it employs 22,000 people, and sells drugs all over the world - excluding the US. When Presidents Obama and Castro made their momentous move to end hostilities, doctors and patients on both sides of the Florida Straits hoped everyone might benefit from an exchange of life-saving treatments. Now there's deep anxiety. Will President Trump re-freeze the thaw, and jeopardise a revolutionary collaboration? For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly explores Cuba's bio-tech industry. How has this small Caribbean nation been able to develop world-class drugs with its limited resources?