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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Copenhagen Zoo euthanizes four lions

March 27th, 2014
02:17 PM ET

The Copenhagen Zoo provoked outrage for its killing of a healthy giraffe named Marius in February.

Now, it's back in the spotlight after euthanizing four lions. The zoo argues that it was a necessary move, to accommodate a new male lion.  It explains that the new arrival would likely have attacked and killed two of the younger lions anyway.

To discuss the controversial practice of euthanasia by zoos, Max spoke to animal rights activist Mirja Holm Thansen.  She said "Copenhagen Zoo is playing God. It's immoral and unethical to interfere with the circle of life by killing healthy animals."

Connect the World also asked Copenhagen Zoo whether they wanted to appear on the program, but they responded that they had nothing more to say on the matter.

Text: Copenhagen Zoo kills 4 lions, weeks after shooting giraffe

Video: Zoo director debates giraffe decision


Filed under:  Activism • Denmark • Europe

UN International Happiness Day

March 21st, 2014
03:12 PM ET

Does being happy make you healthier? Do genetics play a role in happiness?

Thursday was the UN’s International Day of Happiness. To mark it, Connect the World investigated the pursuit of happiness, and the science behind it.

Becky spoke to Ludvig Lindstrom, President of the World Happiness Organization, about how we measure happiness.

She also spoke to Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness.  He said that while happiness is important, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to be happy all the time. "Today's day is about saying our priorities in life are about being able to live the best possible and the happiest possible life, but recognising that every life has good and bad situations."

Becky then took to the streets to ask Londoners what makes them happy.  Their answers may surprise you!


Filed under:  Activism • Becky's Interviews • Video

Did Pastor promote homophobia in Uganda?

February 26th, 2014
02:17 PM ET

Earlier this week, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill into law, introducing life imprisonment for those who engage in "aggravated homosexuality."  Just one day later, a tabloid newspaper in Uganda published a list of the country's "top 200 homosexuals."  Surveys show that 96% of the Ugandan public says society should not be accepting of homosexuality.

But where has this anti-gay sentiment in Uganda come from?  One source may be that of American evangelical Christians, who have assumed a growing influence in the country and advocated against gay lifestyles.

One of the most well known is American pastor and lawyer Scott Lively.  Becky spoke with him about his missionary work on Connect the World.  She began by asking Lively for his reaction to the new law in Uganda.

"I have mixed feelings about that," Lively said.  "I support parts of it, the parts that have increased penalties for homosexual abuse of children and intentionally spreading AIDS through sodomy.  But the parts dealing with simple homosexuality I don't agree with.  They're far too harsh."

Lively said that Ugandan culture and history itself was the main source of the anti-gay sentiment seen there.  "No American evangelicals taught the Ugandans how to be against homosexuality," he said.

When asked whether he was an extremist, Lively replied that "an extremist is in the eye of the beholder."


Filed under:  Activism • Africa • Analysis • Becky's Interviews • Global Connections • London • Religion • United States • Video

Wildlife poaching: Jackie Chan's new foe

February 14th, 2014
01:58 PM ET

Movie star Jackie Chan has faced many foes in his illustrious career, but now he has a new one – wildlife poaching.

He tells Max Foster that he became aware of the cause in an unexpected way – as a result of all the exercise required to keep his famous physique in top shape.  People would give him tiger oil, a product extracted from tiger bones, to heal his injuries and initially he didn't question their advice. "But I never got healed. It always hurt."

Chan later met a doctor, and asked him whether tiger bone was actually effective at healing injuries.  "Nonsense", the doctor replied.

As a result of these experiences, Chan has lent his support to a documentary, 'Tools of the Trade', that highlights the illegal trade of animal products.  These products are commonly used in traditional Asian medicines.

He says that many people still believe that animal products have almost magical medicinal qualities.   "When you eat pig's brain it makes you clever, when you eat pig's knuckle it makes you strong... No! Where are those things coming from?"

And his response to that couldn’t be clearer: "When you destroy the animals, you destroy yourself."


Filed under:  Activism • Celebrity • Poaching

Ex- IOC official: Judge Sochi later

February 6th, 2014
03:39 PM ET

Issues of politicization and questions of preparation are a staple of any Olympic Games, but in the end they'll be "defined by the seventeen days of sports performance". That's what Michael Payne, former marketing director of the IOC, told Becky when she spoke to him live from Sochi.

"There's always an awful lot of background chatter in the lead-up to the games. What we're seeing here from the IOC standpoint is frankly nothing new."

Answering the question of whether facilities would be ready on time, Payne stated that "Even before Lillehammer, probably the most successful Winter Games ever, the week before was not a pretty picture... Certainly the feedback you're also getting from the athletes who are coming into town is seeing facilities like they've never seen before, very positive feedback from the athletes' village. The media/TV facilities and press center is also getting very high reports."

Becky also asked Payne about the activists who are calling for boycotts over Russia's anti-gay laws. "The politicization of the Games has been there for the last century. I think President Bach has been very clear in the IOC leadership about the IOC's values and that all athletes, no matter what gender, what sex, what position are welcome, and they've received all the assurances and everything from President Putin. But I mean it amuses me, this gay debate. You go back to the Games in Atlanta – two years before the Games in Atlanta when they had the Volleyball Cobb County there was far more draconian proposals coming from the local community, anti-gay, and a whole boycott of sponsor products back then, so it's not exactly a new issue."


Filed under:  Activism • Becky's Interviews • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport
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