Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
The world's largest refugee camp – Dadaab in Kenya – is some three thousand kilometers from the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. But children in the two camps have been united through the power of pen and paper. Aid agency CARE International helped Somali children write letters of hope and encouragement to Syrian youngsters in a similar predicament. This video demonstrates what happened next.
As the athlete known as the "Blade Runner" is grilled by the South African state, Becky Anderson asks psychologist Dr James Thompson of University College London about his state of mind.
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."
Uganda's president has signed sweeping anti-gay legislation, introducing life sentences for "aggravated homosexuality." Anyone who counsels or provides services to LGBT people would also face prison time, a provision that ensnares rights groups currently operating in the country.
CNN's Zain Verjee spoke exclusively to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni about his motivations for introducing the new law.
During the interview, Museveni said that he is "acting on behalf of society." His motivation for stepping up the country’s existing anti-gay legislation came as a result of Ugandan scientists producing a report finding no genetic link to homosexuality. "Once you argue that it is a question of choice, then really you have lost the argument,” Museveni said.
In reaction to the bill's condemnation from Western governments and human rights groups, he responded: " They are not going to make our people budge.” Museveni went on to say: “If you don't agree, you just keep quiet. If we are wrong, we shall find out by ourselves."
Zain asked Museveni whether he personally dislikes homosexuals. “Of course,” Museveni said. “They are disgusting."
The World Health Organization estimates that some 140 million women have been subjected to some form of female genital mutilation. A practice the UN calls a violation of human rights and gender equality. They say around 3 million girls face the risk of FGM every year and have declared February 6th the 'International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation'. To mark this day, Becky spoke to Naana Otoo-Oyortey from the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development.
She identified various recurring problems when it comes to tackling this subject.
"There are women who don't even know that they've been through FGM, and that in itself is challenging because if you had it at a much younger age you may not recall when it happened, and you may not see yourself as different, you'd see yourself as normal."
There is also a common acceptance of this as a tradition within certain communities. "For a lot of people they are born into a culture where they see it also as part of their culture. We've had young girls in the UK who have said 'I wanted to go through it because I felt it was part of my culture'. Some girls who say 'I went on holiday and I insisted that I went through it'."
However, Otoo-Oyortey notes that progress is also being made, particularly in Europe, where the younger generation are challenging the status quo. "FGM affects primarily younger people, and in Africa even though you see that the campaign is mainly led by older women, we're seeing in Europe that there's much more engagement, primarily because young people have more access and have a better voice, and are able to understand their rights, and are able to engage on this issue."