January 19th, 2012
09:15 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – FIFA isn’t doing this for the fans, and I don’t think it’s doing it for football either.

The governing body’s “arrogant” (their word) insistence that alcohol should be sold in Brazil’s world cup stadiums has more to do with cold cash than cold beer.

FIFA receives tens of millions of dollars from Anheuser-Busch InBev - the giant brewing company which makes Budweiser - in World Cup sponsorship.

In South Africa in 2010, Budweiser was the only beer for sale in World Cup stadiums. Not surprising then that it outsold every other beverage on offer - sports drinks, soft drinks and bottled water combined.

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January 19th, 2012
05:28 PM GMT
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South Africa (CNN) –It was a hot summer day when Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund visited South Africa in early January. However, it appeared that she received a rather chilly welcome from the South African government.

The South Africans, despite knowing about her visit for more than a month, had not scheduled any meetings with the Finance Minister, the Reserve Bank governor or any other key economic advisors. Crucially, no meeting was lined up with President Jacob Zuma.

It seemed that IMF staff were scrambling to pin down the South Africans even after Lagarde had arrived in the country.

In the end, Lagarde had ad hoc meetings in Pretoria with the country's economic teams the morning after she arrived. It is unclear if they apologized, but I understand that one minister told her she visiting at a bad time; most South African government employees were still on their long Christmas holiday and the ruling ANC was holding it's 100th birthday celebrations in Bloemfontein, a four-hour drive away from Pretoria.

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January 19th, 2012
12:08 PM GMT
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Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) - We interviewed Oprah Winfrey in a classroom at the school she established five years ago in South Africa. The walls of the classroom were plastered with posters that all advocated that 'You go, Girl!' attitude that Oprah oozes.

The messages were attached neatly on every available space; "I am me because I am special," "You can't get anywhere unless you start," "I know me, I accept me, I like me."

Oprah Winfrey has made a career, and a fortune, plugging self-awareness on her talk show and her new TV network. Her interview style is deeply personal, confessional even. She likes to share, open up, and be frank about her own life in the course of speaking to others.

Our 30 minutes-long interview was no different. She is Oprah after all.
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January 19th, 2012
11:08 AM GMT
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Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (CNN) – China is thirsty for oil to fuel its economic boom – and it’s increasingly looking to Saudi Arabia to help quench that thirst.

Saudi Arabia produces nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day – about the same as China consumes. That’s why the Kingdom is at the heart of China's energy strategy to secure more resources from the Gulf region.

Chinese energy giant Sinopec recently signed a joint venture with Saudi’s Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, that will lock-in an additional 400,000 barrels of oil per day by 2014.

It’s a sign of China’s eagerness to boost economic and political ties to Saudi Arabia.

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