Reporting: Coronavirus hit French luxury goods sales

The fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak is set to hit one of France’s top draws for foreign tourists, the luxury goods sector. Our report from Paris.

Coronavirus hit French luxury goods sales

https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-02-11/Coronavirus-hits-French-luxury-goods-sales–NYRoSfxQ7m/index.html

Reporting: Russia banned from global sport for four years

I reported on the news that shook the Russian sporting world, following the ruling from the World Anti-Doping Agency to impose wide-ranging sanctions for doping data manipulation

RADIO

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018726154/russia-banned-from-major-sporting-events-by-world-anti-doping-agency

ONLINE

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-12-10/Russia-will-appeal-WADA-ban-officials–MjdvV4HcJy/index.html

One step forward for Russian rugby

The Rugby World Cup has come to an end. How did Russia get on?

The Bears exited at the pool stage after playing in only their second world cup finals (their debut in this tournament was in 2011).

However, they could not improve on their showing eight years ago – then they scored 57 points, ran in eight tries and landed a losing bonus point against the United States.

This time around things were much tougher.

They played in the tournament curtain-raiser against Japan and did cross the line after only five minutes, setting a new record for the fastest try scored in an opening match of a Rugby World Cup.

But they would go on to score only another 14 points in total (and no more tries) after this.

19 points from four games is very poor return.

I went to all three of then team’s warm-up matches in Moscow and got to know some of the squad during their summer preparations ahead of the tournament.

They won the first match, against a combined XV from the best of the Russia domestic league (minus those called up to the national squad).

But they went down easily in the other two games, against English Championship side Jersey Reds at the small Slava ground and versus Pro12’s Connacht at the much bigger Dinamo Moscow stadium.

And then when it came to the tournament proper, four defeats.

They came up against Ireland again (and captain Vasily Artemyev, in the selfie above, knows a lot of the Irish after going to secondary school in Dublin), as well as Scotland and the hosts Japan, and Russia lost those games, as was unfortunately expected.

They would have had the Samoa game labelled as the one opportunity for some possible points but lost that as well.

Despite the disappointing showing in Japan, there are already plans from Russia to explore a bid for the 2027 men’s world cup.

In 2014, Russia staged the 2014 Winter Olympics and last year, the country showed that it could handle another of the planet’s biggest showpieces: the men’s football world cup.

Could it do the same with rugby?

The game is returning to France, one of the sport’s key markets, for the 2023 event.

After that, would the game’s global leaders take a punt on another nascent market?

Japan is far more established in comparison with Russia, and 2019 was seen as a tentative (and overdue) move into a new market.

Argentina has not staged a World Cup and there is an unwritten rule that world cups swing between the two hemispheres.

After Japan 2019 and France 2023, the calls for another southern tournament from players in Argentina, South Africa and the trans-Tasman giants of Australia and New Zealand will be hard to resist.

Reporting: How does Russia decipher US policy on Syria?

After abruptly pulling U.S. troops who protected Kurdish fighters, President Donald Trump has identified oil protection as the new goal in Syria.  Moscow-based correspondent, Ross Cullen, says Russia’s frustration is growing over Trump’s policy reversal in Syria.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-10-26/Russia-s-Syria-frustration-growing-with-Trump-s-policy-reversal-L6RSzgD972/index.html

Reporting: Moscow’s pro-opposition protests

In August 2019, I reported live from an unsanctioned pro-opposition protest in Moscow.

The demonstrations took place throughout the summer on consecutive weekends in support of anti-government candidates in Moscow’s local city elections. The candidates had been barred from running for allegedly supplying false signatures on their application forms. The opposition say the move was an underhand method by the Kremlin of removing potentially disruptive anti-government candidates from the ballot paper.

TRT World news article: https://www.trtworld.com/europe/russian-police-detain-hundreds-during-fresh-protest-in-moscow-28739

MEXICO ELECTION – Voting under way

Mexicans are going to the polls in a general election

With the morning sun shining, voters at this polling station in the Juárez neighbourhood of central Mexico City formed an orderly queue. And while one man declined to speak to me after voting, two women hinted at their decision. They did not mention who they had voted for by name, but instead said “you know who”, which is becoming widespread code for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO.

PORTUGAL – Video Report on Portuguese Speakers

The rise of Portuguese as one of the world’s major languages

Although it is not one of the six flagship languages of the United Nations, Portuguese carries enough weight by itself to rank alongside double-lingo groups like Hindi-Urdu and Indonesian-Malay in terms of number of speakers.

The states which do speak Portuguese on some level form the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries or CPLP, which is introduced in the video above. The organisation lists nine official member nations, from mighty Brazil to tiny São Tome e Principe, but even within these countries Portuguese is not always the go-to tongue for residents.

The language of government and newspapers in Cape Verde maybe o português but the word on the street, at the bus stops and in homes across the islands is Cape Verdean Creole, a mixture of Portuguese, English, French and several native West African languages.

In East Timor it is Tetum that dominates as the main means of communication. After that there are at least 15 native languages that are spoken, with only a small fraction of the population using either of the colonial tongues: Indonesian and Portuguese.

In spite of this, the CPLP pushes ahead with its aims and objectives, which include  wide-ranging inter-governmental policies such as co-operation on education, health and public security but also the specific aim of working on projects that promote and increase the use of Portuguese.