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.
Between 2000 and 2006, members of the terrorist National Socialist Underground cell planted bombs and murdered ten people, including nine foreigners. Police attributed the crimes to the mafia until a combination of clues helped them discover the real perpetrators. How had the German authorities been blind to the neo-Nazi links behind the hate crimes for so long? Our correspondents Anne Mailliet, Brice Boussouar and Jessica Saltz investigate.
First, in Brazil, judges live in fear of reprisals and are demanding better police protection. Next, starved of cash, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his whistleblowing website may be weeks away from collapse. Finally, Mississippi’s ecosystem is in the grip of a foreign invasion, as Asian carp devour everything in their paths.
Marc Perelman meets Xavier Raufer, criminologist and author of "What wars after Osama Bin Laden?" According to him, Western countries are not reacting fast enough to new forms of criminality and terrorism.
The days when the Mafia ruled Sicily could soon be just a memory. The Catturandi are an elite police force with the sole objective of rounding up members of the mob, many of whom have been on the run for years. The officers are all local to Sicily and their dedication to the job has won the hearts of residents and gained their support in hunting down Mafia criminals.
Eight people are dead and three are wounded after gunmen opened fire on a minibus in the eastern province of Olancho in Honduras. According to a government spokesperson, the attack targeted one or two of the passengers.
Wikileaks reveals a prosecutor's claims that Russia regularly uses the mafia for operations it could ‘not acceptably do as a government’ and that the mafia exerts ‘tremendous control’ over vital components of the global economy.
A newspaper has asked drug cartels for direction on whether to "publish or stop publishing", after one of its journalists was brutally slain. The government responded firmly, saying it was inappropriate to negotiate with criminals.