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Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2009-11-23

US policy of engagement leaves exiles uneasy

After more than a decade of using the stick in relations with Burma's military junta, the administration of US President Barack Obama has shown signs it also intends to use the carrot - at the risk of upsetting exiled Burmese opposition groups.

Thailand's border with Burma has long been a sanctuary for tens of thousands of displaced Burmese who have fled persecution in their homeland. More than 120,000 refugees have been living in makeshift camps along the border for the last 25 years, but the area is also home to scores of exiled politicians, rebels and even Buddisht monks who escaped the crackdown that followed the Safron revolution of September 2007, in which hundreds of people were killed.
 
A new policy of engagement and dialogue with the military junta initiated by the US administration of President Barack Obama has taken the exiled Burmese community by surprise. We went to hear their reactions, ranging from rejection to despair and sometimes hope.

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2014-08-22 environment

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

In China's major urban centres air pollution can sometimes reach alarming levels. Faced with the rising discontent of manty city dwellers the Chinese government has vowed more...

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2014-08-21 economy

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Raising the minimum wage remains a key point of contention in the US. President Obama wants to bring it up to $10.10. This might seem like a win-win situation: earn more, spend...

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2014-08-19 Gaza Strip

Israel's minorities and military service

We look at how Israel's religious minorities feel about military service. At the end of last month - three weeks after the latest conflict with militants in Gaza started - Israel...

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2014-08-20 tourism

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Spain's Canary Isles are a popular tourist destination offering year-round sun, sea and sand. But they could be about to gain a new string to their bow as a sustainable energy...

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2014-08-18 religion

South Korea: The Catholic Church's Asian Tiger

We head to South Korea, where Pope Francis has just wrapped up a five-day visit. A pope hadn't set foot in the country for a quarter of a century. Yet Catholicism is thriving in...

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