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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.

Egyptian court sentences 528 people to death after mass trials

March 26th, 2014
03:53 PM ET

On Monday, an Egyptian court sentenced at least 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots last August, including the murder of a police officer.

Egyptian news site Ahram Online said it was the largest set of death sentences handed to defendants in the modern history of Egypt.

Another 683 people are also facing charges, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Mohammed Badie.

To find out what these mass trials mean for the future of Egypt, Max spoke to Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Abdullah El-Haddad, and political analyst and journalist Ashraf Khalil.

In El-Haddad's opinion the judiciary were not acting independently. He said that the trial was "just a kangaroo court,” and that the speed with which the verdict was delivered – after two sessions of twenty minutes each – indicated this. He also pointed out that, in comparison, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's trial had 48 sessions and took more than two years.

Khalil said that it is still unclear whether this result was influenced by the state's leadership, or whether it was an example of the Egyptian judiciary "pursuing its own agenda.”

In relation to what this means for the future of the country, El-Haddad said that nothing can be fixed until the current leadership is removed and held accountable for "crimes against humanity.”

Watch the full discussion above.

Text: 528 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death in Egypt


Filed under:  Arab Spring • Egypt • Middle East

#Nomakeupselfies for Cancer Research

March 24th, 2014
01:48 PM ET

Selfies may be seen as self-indulgent, but a new fresh-faced fundraiser has seen them raise millions of dollars for cancer research.

The campaign asks women to post pictures of themselves without make-up, while simultaneously donating.

Isa Soares spoke to cancer patient Amanda McDonald, one of the first to act on the trend. "It just seems to have spiralled and gained a momentum that nobody could have imagined," McDonald said.

Aaron Eckles of Cancer Research UK expressed his astonishment at how this spontaneous movement began.  "It's not something that we started,” Eckles said.  “It’s not our campaign message, but if that's what people are trying to do we appreciate that sentiment."

Eckles said the money being raised will go a long way.  "It's just been incredible and it will go towards things like clinical trials, towards research projects around the UK that are aimed at beating cancer sooner and bringing treatments to patients faster."

Watch the full report above.

Expert on new Malaysia Airlines lead

March 21st, 2014
03:53 PM ET

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is still missing. Even as the search area has expanded, experts say the window of opportunity to find any sign of the plane has been closing quickly. Becky spoke to Rick Burgess, a former P-3c Mission Commander and managing editor of Seapower Magazine, who estimated that there are between three and four days left to finish the search. "From there," he said, "I don't see much hope."

Becky asked Burgess about the debris spotted in the South Indian Ocean.  In relation to this possible lead, Burgess said "This is the first optimism I've had with this whole incident."

He also explained the capabilities of the search teams, the challenges posed by the weather, and the remote location of the search area.  See the full interview above.

Text: Nothing but water – and questions

Text: Nothing but water: No sign of Malaysian airliner on day 2 of search off Australia


Filed under:  Asia • Becky's Interviews • Breaking News

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

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 families' trauma

March 20th, 2014
05:22 PM ET

The mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is much more than an aviation story. It is a human story involving 239 people and their families.

Becky speaks about some of the passengers on board the aircraft, and also spoke to psychologist James Thompson about how the families must be coping during this terrible time.

He identified the key problem, the fear of the unknown throughout this uncertainty: "I think to mourn someone when you don't have their body is hard enough, but here what we have is something worse, which is a long time in which you can build up hope."

See the rest of their interview above.


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Video
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