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THE OBSERVERS

A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2014-07-03

Banned from watching sports in Iran, and illegal rosewood in Madagascar

A news show produced exclusively from content provided by amateurs. Photos, videos and personal accounts from our network of Observers around the world - all checked by our staff in Paris. First run Saturdays at 8:10 am Paris time.

Story 1: Madagascar

We begin today in Madagascar off the coast of southern Africa. The island nation is famous for its rosewood. It's one of the rarest and most expensive woods in the world, used in fine furniture and musical instruments. The wood takes a long time to grow and it's becoming scarcer and scarcer. That's why the Malagasy government banned its logging in 2010. But the trade continues - illegally. Our Observer recently came across two caches of the precious logs inside a national park.

The legendary American guitar maker Gibson admitted using Madagascar rosewood in its guitars a couple of years ago and paid a fine. Most of the wood is believed to go to Asia, though, where it is highly prized by China's growing middle class.

 

Story 2: Iran

To Iran now, where volleyball is an up-and-coming sport. The national team is moving rapidly up through the world rankings, and home matches are closely watched - at least by men, because women are no longer allowed in the stadium. Here's our Observer Amina.

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