Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
President Obama's West Point foreign policy address was the very definition of a speech heard around the world. But how has it been received around the world? Jim Clancy hears the thoughts of The National's Faisal al-Yafai in Abu Dhabi and The Henry Jackson Society's Alan Mendoza in London.
How do you value the loss of a life? It would seem that different countries value it differently.
Under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention, an airline must pay $175,000 for the death of each individual, but there is scope for additional damages too.
This is where the amount owed can differ depending on the passenger’s country of origin. Experts estimate that the families of Americans lost on board MH370 could get up to $10 million, while the families of those from other countries may receive $400,000 per passenger.
To find out more about the legal complexities behind an airline tragedy, Max spoke to attorney Floyd Wisner. He’s handled many cases involving family members of people killed in aviation accidents.
Wisner said a lot of the difference is based on where the case is filed, and what the norm for compensation is in that country. "An American jury is going to award damages ten times the amount of a Chinese court."
Unfortunately, though, he said that this "places a greater value on an American life than on another life."
As the fallout from Crimea's Sunday referendum continues, Becky spoke to Volodymyr Khandogiy, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Kingdom. She asked him whether the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union go far enough.
Khandogiy said a lot more can be done. According to him, two things are key to any actions that will make Russia take notice: "First of all they have to be effective and second of all they have to be painful to Russians."
He went on to say that there is more that can be done to help Ukraine. "Of course we will be happy to receive military technical assistance from our partners." Khandogiy says that kind of help was the subject of recent talks between the Foreign Minister of Ukraine and the Secretary General of NATO.
Though Khandogiy says he doesn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for certain, he says that one possible motive resonates the most with him - Putin's "perception that Ukraine does not deserve to be an independent state."
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."
A Florida artist says he’s sorry for intentionally smashing a vase by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The work was valued at $1 million dollars.
Maximo Caminero faces charges of criminal mischief after dropping the vase. Caminero says he broke the artwork as a protest against the gallery, for refusing to showcase local artists.
Ai Weiwei – who is photographed smashing an ancient Chinese vase in one of his own works – says he does not support artists destroying other artists work.
The case got us thinking about where the line is drawn between activism and artwork. Becky went to London’s Brunei Gallery to find out more.
(And don’t worry – no real artwork or valuable vases were harmed in the making of this piece.)