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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?
Coming Out of the Shadows in Kenya
For generations those who, for biological reasons, don't fit the usual male/female categories have faced violence and stigma in Kenya. Intersex people - as they are commonly known in Kenya - were traditionally seen as a bad omen bringing a curse upon their family and neighbours. Most were kept in hiding and many were killed at birth. But now a new generation of home-grown activists and medical experts are helping intersex people to come out into the open. They're rejecting the old idea that intersex people must choose a gender in infancy and stick to it and are calling on the government to instead grant them legal recognition. BBC Africa's Health Correspondent Anne Soy meets some of the rural families struggling to find acceptance for their intersex children and witnesses the efforts health workers and activists are making to promote understanding of the condition. She also meets a successful gospel singer who recently came out as intersex and hears from those who see the campaign for inter-sex recognition as part of a wider attack on the traditional Kenyan family. Helen Grady producing.
Hong Kong's Secret Dwellings
Last summer the emergency services rescued two children from an out-of-control fire in an old industrial building in the commercial area of Hong Kong. It was discovered that a number of people were living in the building. Charlotte McDonald explores the reasons which would drive a family in one of the wealthiest cities in the world to live illegally in a place not fit for human habitation. It's estimated that around 10,000 people live in industrial buildings - although the true number is not known due to the very fact it is not legal. Hong Kong consistently ranks as one of the most expensive places to rent or buy in the world. Already around 200,000 have been forced to rent in what are known as subdivided flats. But now attention has turned to those in even more dire conditions in industrial blocks. From poor government planning, the loss of industry to mainland China and exploitative landlords, we uncover why people are choosing to live in secrecy in neglected buildings. Charlotte McDonald reporting Alex Burton producing Photo credit: SCMP.
Brazil's modern-day Captains of the Sands
Eighty years ago, the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado published Captains of the Sands, a powerfully moving novel about the lives of a gang of orphaned children living on the streets of Salvador. The book had a huge impact, showing wealthy Brazilians the truth about the inequality in their country and the humanity of the children they were used to regarding as "pests". It is now a literary classic and read by almost every Brazilian child at school. Eighty years on, though, thousands of adolescents and children still live in the streets in Salvador. Their lives are still marked by poverty and crime, intensified since Amado's day by the growth of the drugs trade and the addiction and violence it brings. And they still find alternative bonds of family in the kind of gangs that Amado would have recognised. For Crossing Continents, David Baker meets these modern-day Captains of the Sands and hears their stories and those of the people trying to help them. James Fletcher producing.
Russia's Extreme Selfie Daredevils
Young Russians have gained a reputation on social media for taking the most extreme selfies, often involving death-defying stunts on top of skyscrapers, all for the sake of internet fame. Lucy Ash travels from Moscow to Siberia to meet some of this trend's most high-profile figures. They explain how they are building themselves into living brands, and the ways they can make money out of their risky roof-top photographs. They reveal what initially motivated them to chance their lives in this way - and an indifference to the rising number of selfie-related deaths in Russia. The government is less nonchalant though. and around 18 months ago it launched a 'safe selfie' campaign, to warn young people of the risks of taking photos in moving traffic, on top of radio towers, with loaded weapons or with wild animals. But why has this phenomenon taken root in Russia? Crossing Continents reveals how a mixture of provincial malaise, a misdirected sense of masculinity, and lax law enforcement has allowed extreme selfie culture to flourish. Contributors include: Alexander Chernikov Angela Nikolau Kirill Vselensky Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith Researcher: Tatyana Movshevich.