Portugal’s ‘bike valley’, a reindustrialisation success story
16 September 2021 | 10:04 am
In Portugal's Agueda valley, south of Porto, the bike manufacturing industry is flourishing, particularly for electric bicycles. No other EU country makes more bikes than Portugal. The nation of 10 million inhabitants, or just over 2 percent of the EU population, produces a quarter of the bloc's bicycles. This reindustrialisation success story is the consequence of a growing passion for cycling in Europe. Our regional correspondents report.
24 Oct 2021
In a hot and stuffy room at her house in Hanoi, Tran Thanh Thuc holds up a delicate silk scarf and begins snipping it into tiny pieces, ready to paste onto her works of art. For four decades, Thuc has been recreating Vietnamese landscapes using vibrant shades of fabric cut from scarves, traditional ao dai -- or whatever material she could find during years of poverty in the 1980s.
30 Oct 2021
It is the first time a budget has been rejected in Portugal since the country's transition to democracy in 1974. The move ends six years of relative stability under Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
31 Oct 2021
In the space of just a few years, the small Central American nation of Costa Rica has become a global laboratory for decarbonisation. Costa Rica is the world's only tropical country that has managed to reverse the process of deforestation: forests now cover more than half its surface. It’s also one of the few countries to get almost all its electricity (99 percent) from renewable sources. Costa Rica's inspiring and bold example reflects badly on major world powers, which have considerably more resources available to achieve their climate goals. Our regional correspondents Laurence Cuvillier and Matthieu Comin report.
7 Nov 2021
Portugal is to head to the polls on January 30, after the country's president called a snap election. The announcement comes a week after parliament rejected the minority government's 2022 budget bill.
12 Nov 2021
Since 2018, Portugal has seen a boom in farming, made possible in large part due to cheap labour from Asia run by mafia networks. Migrant charities estimate that around 30,000 Indian, Nepali, Thai and Pakistani labourers work on broccoli fields, pick berries and tomatoes in greenhouses or pick grapes in vineyards. In return they receive poor salaries and face difficult living conditions. Our regional correspondents report.
21 Nov 2021
Céline Dion's life, love and power ballads come to the big screen as "Aline" tops the box office here in France. Film critic Lisa Nesselson tells us why she was charmed and entertained by Valérie Lemercier's take on Quebec's most famous musical export.
28 Nov 2021
Twenty years ago, Portugal was plagued with heroin addiction and HIV infections. The country decided to take a new approach to the problem, becoming the first in the world to decriminalise drug taking. Since then, drug users are no longer treated as criminals to be locked up in jail, but as people who need medical care and supervision. The gamble has paid off, as our team found out.
2 Dec 2021
Shooting to fame at the height of the Roaring Twenties in Paris, Josephine Baker was a Missouri-born dancer who found her spiritual home in France, far from the racial segregation of her native USA. Yet the early years of her career can make for uncomfortable viewing for a contemporary audience, with Baker seemingly complicit in numerous racist stereotypes. But for Ilana Navaro, director of the film "Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening", Baker "took what she had and, later on, turned it into a political tool" – as part of the French Resistance during World War II, and even later as a leading voice in the US civil rights movement.
5 Dec 2021
Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, saddled with around $300 billion in debt, has been struggling to meet interest payments on its loans. If it collapses, some of its partner firms could be driven to bankruptcy, prospective homebuyers could lose deposits and some banks would lend less money, which would lead to a credit crunch in the world's second-biggest economy. Property developers in China have in fact created an oversupply: there is enough empty property in the country to house more than 90 million people. FRANCE 24's team reports.
9 Dec 2021
It's hard to imagine a more perfect musical than the 1961 version of "West Side Story", and yet Steven Spielberg took on precisely that challenge. Film critic Lisa Nesselson tells us why that gamble paid off, with a particularly lyrical appraisal of some of the film's highlights.
26 Dec 2021
The green, fertile hills of eastern Congo are as beautiful as they are dangerous. This no-man's land is also home to militia woman Mama Faida. She carries a rusty AK-47 and bears the scars of brutal conflict. But she hopes her children have a brighter future ahead.
21 Jan 2022
The robotics startup Exotec has become France's 25th unicorn company, valued at $2 billion after its latest fundraising round. The firm makes robots for e-commerce depots, and counts big names like Carrefour, Uniqlo and Decathlon among its customers. Exotec's CEO Romain Moulin told FRANCE 24 the inspiration for the company actually came from online retail giant Amazon.
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