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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.

Putin: No discrimination in Sochi

January 18th, 2014
03:07 PM ET

It's now less than three weeks until the Sochi Winter Olympics begin, and preparations have not been without controversy. Russia has come under international pressure since its parliament passed a law last summer outlawing "gay propaganda", and one of the big questions has been how gay athletes and visitors will be treated when they arrive for the games.

Addressing volunteers near Sochi yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed these fears, stating that gay and lesbian visitors won't face prosecution as long as they "leave children in peace".

Becky asked CNN's correspondent Nic Robertson about the response to the President's remarks.

"The issue there of gay people coming to Russia – athletes and visitors – how are they going to be treated? He said they'll be treated properly. But of course there's a real concern here that while President Putin speaks like this many people take that language to sort of conflate his conflating the issue of homosexuality with paedophilia, and it has lead to a rise in abuses of gays in Russia right now."

Nic emphasized the importance of these games for Putin's domestic and international reputation. "A lot rides on this for him."

Becky also asked Nic about the general atmosphere around the city. "It's buzzing. Wherever you go in this city right now workers seem to be trying to get the last of the trees in, fill in the holes in the road, get the ground levelled out straight, put ramps up next to steps – they haven't finished putting on all the handrails if you will. So it really does seem to be a sort of race to get this place ready in three weeks."

Text: Putin says gays 'can feel safe' at Sochi Winter Olympics

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Filed under:  Olympics • Russia • Sochi

Life goes on in London's theater district

December 23rd, 2013
12:50 PM ET

It's business as usual in London's theater district after the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse.

Nic Robertson reports. 

Watch: Will Apollo collapse harm industry?

Rob Ford says he's not going anywhere

November 19th, 2013
11:54 AM ET

Embattled Mayor Rob Ford vowed "outright war" after Toronto's City Council voted to strip him of most of his powers Monday in a tumultuous meeting during which a charging Ford knocked down one of its members.

Nearly two weeks after Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" - an admission forced by a drug probe that resulted in extortion charges against a friend - the mayor said he was done apologizing. He called Monday's vote "a coup d'etat" and compared it to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, warning council members, "What goes around, comes around, friends."

Rob Ford had said earlier that he refuses to step down. CNN's Nic Robertson reports from Toronto.

'Project Spade' busts child porn ring

November 15th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

A three-year investigation into an exploitative Toronto-based film company has netted nearly 350 arrests and rescued more than 380 children from sexual abuse, police said Thursday.

Law enforcement from all over the world, primarily in Eastern Europe and the United States, worked with Toronto police since 2010 to arrest those who produced child pornography and those who purchased it.

Hundreds of children, some as young as five, have been rescued from this child pornography ring across the globe. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

Afghan opium production hits new highs

November 14th, 2013
11:58 AM ET

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36% this year, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Almost 90% of opium was cultivated in nine provinces in the south and the west, which include the most insurgency-ridden provinces in the country, the report said.

The report, the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey, was released in Kabul by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"As we approach 2014 and the withdrawal of international forces from the country, the results of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2013 should be taken for what they are – a warning, and an urgent call to action," the UNODC chief said.

Max Foster looks at Afghanistan's surging opium poppy production with Angela Me from the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime and CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson.

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