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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.

Latest update : 2010-04-22

Angst over Afghan engagement

It's been a deadly few weeks for the German mission in Afghanistan, with seven soldiers killed since Good Friday. The German government is seen to be coming under increasing popular pressure to end the mission.

Only weeks ago, the conflict in Afghanistan still seemed far away. But in less than a month, seven German soldiers have died in combat. A total of 43 have now died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Germans are slowly becoming aware of the dangers to which their army is being exposed. Two weeks ago, the German Chancellor attended the funerals of three of the soldiers - a first for Angela Merkel. Within the Bundeswehr, the Chancellor’s presence was perceived as a strong gesture.

Christoph Schnurr, a young member of parliament (FDP) and specialist in defence matters, was in Afghanistan during the fighting which last week cost four soldiers their lives. He believes that what is essential right now is that Germans show support for their troops, for example by wearing a yellow ribbon. 




2018-01-19 Americas

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

One year after Colombia signed a historic peace deal with FARC rebels, a key challenge is to clear the soil of anti-personnel mines and other explosives. After Afghanistan,...

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2018-01-18 Middle East

Rise of sandstorms plagues Middle East

Sandstorms have long been known to cause chaos in the Middle East - blocking out the sun in the middle of the day, or leaving passenger jets grounded on the airport tarmac. But...

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2018-01-17 Asia-pacific

Why Hong Kong is Asia's electronic garbage dump

Asia is increasingly weighed down by electronic waste and it's in Hong Kong that the situation is the most alarming. The city produces nearly 200,000 tons of electronic waste...

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2018-01-16 Europe

Strict controls behind Denmark's generous unemployment benefits

At just 4.2%, Denmark boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, and those looking for work receive up to 90% of their former salary. However, rigorous controls apply...

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2018-01-15 Americas

Stolen medication sold on black market in Mexico

Mexico is dealing with a disturbing trend: mass robberies from pharmacies, hospitals and medical vehicles. The stolen medication is then sold on the black market, along with fake...

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