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Political and social events from the Americas, with exclusive reports and interviews. Every Wednesday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

Latest update : 2017-01-05

Prison break: Brazil to overhaul penal system after bloody riot

This week, we focus on Brazil's penal system after a deadly prison riot. 184 inmates escaped from two jails in Brazil in the wake of the worst prison violence there in 25 years. Close to 60 were killed in fighting between rival drug gangs at Manaus jail. Many of those slain were beheaded before being tossed over the prison walls. The violence prompted the justice minister to announce plans to completely overhaul the country's overcrowded prison system.

We also head to the US, where the 115th Congress opened this week. When Donald Trump takes office on January 20th, it will be the first time Republicans have controlled both houses of Congress and the White House since 1928. The GOP has vowed to push through one of the most conservative agendas in decades. But divisions are likely to emerge over Trump's cabinet picks and allegations of Russia's interference in the election.

One of Trump's big campaign promises was bringing jobs back to the United States. This week, US carmaker Ford said it was cancelling a 1.6 billion dollar plant in Mexico in order to beef up a current factory in Michigan. Several major US companies have also started investing in production sites at home. American-made products are still more expensive than those made overseas, but consumers say they're willing to pay a little bit more to buy local.

By Genie GODULA , Stéphanie CHEVAL , Joanna COCKERELL , Sonia BARITELLO


2018-03-14 USA

Contemplating the wall: Trump inspects prototypes in California

In keeping with a campaign promise, President Trump has been inspecting prototypes for a wall he wants built along the US border with Mexico. His visit to the site saw protests...

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2018-03-07 Colombia

Colombia elections: The FARC's hard road to parliament

In Colombia, elections are fast approaching and for the first time ever, the vote will see members of the ex-guerrilla movement FARC run for Congress. The FARC rebels fought the...

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2018-02-28 National Rifle Association (NRA)

Florida shooting: 'Never Again' movement gains ground as pressure mounts on NRA

Pupils and teachers in Florida have returned to their classrooms at their high school in Parkland, where 17 people lost their lives in a mass shooting on February 14. As students...

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2018-02-21 Donald Trump

Gun control in the US: A glimmer of compromise?

Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of last week's Florida school shooting, has become a symbol. She is just one of many high school students forced into becoming an activist for gun...

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2018-02-14 Mexico

Mexico: Indigenous mobile phone network transforms rural areas

This week we head to Mexico, where a new mobile phone co-op has transformed rural communities without any other network. It's up and running thanks to a legal triumph by...

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