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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.

Ruslana to Yanukovych: You're a dictator

January 28th, 2014
02:48 PM ET

Tensions have risen sharply in Ukraine in recent weeks, where anti-government protesters have been on the frigid streets for months.  Today, President Viktor Yanukovych accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov – just one recent concession to opposition forces.

One woman has been lending her voice to the anti-government forces in Kiev.  Ruslana is a Ukrainian pop star, and she won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of her country.  She has been a vocal critic of Yanukovych, and told Becky how she feels about the unrest.

"It's unbelievable what's going on my country," Ruslana said.  "This is Ukraine.  I represent my country for many, many years.  I am a singer.  I am a musician.  I want peace and of course I want a lot of changes in my country."

Ruslana also said that the demonstrators are determined to stay strong until they see change.

"We are still together," she said.  "We know that we have power and we want to ask Yanukovych, please stop.  You're a dictator.  We have a lot of aggression from this government.  Please stop, please stop."

 


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Europe • Ukraine • Video

NATO: No military solution in Syria

January 28th, 2014
02:30 PM ET

As peace talks in Geneva seemed to reach a stalemate on Syria, Becky spoke with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.  She asked him whether he thought military action was still a possibility.

"I think you have to distinguish clearly between the use of chemical weapons and the long term solution to the conflict in Syria," Rasmussen said.  "As regards the use of chemical weapons last year, I was of the very clear opinion and I am still that that needed a clear response from the international community.  Eventually the threat of military action led to a political and diplomatic solution and now the chemical weapons in Syria will be eliminated."

Rasmussen also said he was hopeful that the Geneva II talks would yield constructive results.  He emphasized that while the threat of military action worked to deter the further use of chemical weapons, a political solution is the only way to resolve the conflict in the long term.


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Europe • London • Syria • Video

Al-Faisal: Syria is a 'festering wound'

January 27th, 2014
04:21 PM ET

As Geneva 2 talks continue, former ambassador to the US and Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal spoke to CNN about his position on the Syrian war.

"I'd describe Syria as a festering wound, and you know festering wounds, they collect all the worst bacteria that can come together in one part. And this is what is happening in Syria. We have all of these groups, crazies, from Shia and Sunni, other groups, fighting there. And they're terribly, terribly destructive. So we have to get them out of Syria, and the world community has a responsibility in that."

He suggests that hope for a resolution lies with the proposed placement of an interim government, when "all of these groups, will, by the nature of the situation, disappear. They come from outside, they come from places like the United States, the UK, the Arab world, Muslim world, from Iraq, from Iran, from all over. So once you have a good and authoritative government in place, they will not have a place."

When asked about how entrenched Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to be, given his recent announcement of his plan to run for re-election, al-Faisal answered that that is just wishful thinking. "How can you run for election in a country that is 75% destroyed, with bombings everyday taking place in all the towns and villages? This is just propaganda... and frankly after the way he conducted himself with the Syrian people, killing so many in documented authority, and affidavits, and photographs, and witnesses, how can one expect him to even claim to have any legitimacy in that situation?"

Do you know the Winter Olympic events?

January 27th, 2014
03:15 PM ET

Curling, luge, short track, skeleton... How well do you know your winter sports? Connect the World took to the streets of London to find out.

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Filed under:  Olympics • Sochi • Video

Life in Iran 'Before the Revolution'

January 27th, 2014
03:10 PM ET

Israeli filmmaker Dan Shadur has brought out a new documentary thriller that describes the last days of the Israeli community in Tehran, on the eve of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. CNN spoke to him about his motivations for making the film, his desire to investigate the relationship between the countries, and his realisation that the motivations for the revolution weren't as black and white as he had been led to believe.

"It used to be very intriguing to me, over the years, having these family photos from Iran, while growing up as an Israeli in the '80s and '90s, Iran, it's like this big demonic thing that is the most scary and the most horrible thing in the world, and there is this gap that was always intriguing for me. And then I started looking into it and I realised that this thing of Israelis living in Iran was a very big thing, much bigger than I thought, it was very intimate relationships covering commerce and intelligence and militaries, and it wasn't only us, it was a very large Israeli community living in Tehran."

"The first thing that was of interest to me was to put a spotlight on this story, to say that this big rift that exists today didn't exist for so long. The other thing that was very intriguing for me when I started researching this story was realising that these happy days of ours weren't so happy for many others, and this revolution that was always portrayed to me as this dark force coming and driving us away from our paradise was actually something deeply rooted with some very good causes for the Iranian people, no matter that what happened later wasn't what many of them hoped for."

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Filed under:  Iran • Middle East
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