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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 : 2012-06-19

Times getting tough for Japan's Yakuza

Japan's yakuza, whose members are known for cutting off their little fingers to atone for acts of disloyalty and mistakes, have long been active in gambling, loan sharking and money-laundering. In their golden age after World War II they even had significant influence within certain political spheres. But times are getting tougher for Japan's estimated 80,000 yakuza members: for the past decade they've been increasingly feeling the strain of a weakened economy and increased repression.

By Marie LINTON , Guillaume BRESSION

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2014-10-30 Lebanon

Lebanon: Syrian civil war spillover heightens tensions in Tripoli

Lebanon is suffering from the spillover of the Syrian civil war just across the border. This week the conflict escalated again in Tripoli. The country's second-largest city is no...

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2014-10-29 Yemen

Yemen on the brink of chaos

In Yemen, the security situation has got so bad that the country is on the brink of a fully-fledged civil war. In the month since Shiite Houthi rebels took control of the capital...

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2014-10-28 Germany

Germany: Bavaria struggles to cope with influx of asylum seekers

Germany is seeing a surge in asylum seekers, with 76% more in the first three months of 2014 compared to last year. That's worrying many politicians, particularly in the southern...

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2014-10-27 Poland

Poland rediscovers its Jewish past

This week sees the long-awaited opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. It's a highly symbolic event for a country that once had Europe's largest Jewish...

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2014-10-24 Ukraine

Ukraine's crippled elections

This Sunday, Ukraine is holding parliamentary elections, but some parts of the country won't be voting. The war between government forces and Russian-backed separatists continues...

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