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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.

Copenhagen Zoo euthanizes four lions

March 27th, 2014
02:17 PM ET

The Copenhagen Zoo provoked outrage for its killing of a healthy giraffe named Marius in February.

Now, it's back in the spotlight after euthanizing four lions. The zoo argues that it was a necessary move, to accommodate a new male lion.  It explains that the new arrival would likely have attacked and killed two of the younger lions anyway.

To discuss the controversial practice of euthanasia by zoos, Max spoke to animal rights activist Mirja Holm Thansen.  She said "Copenhagen Zoo is playing God. It's immoral and unethical to interfere with the circle of life by killing healthy animals."

Connect the World also asked Copenhagen Zoo whether they wanted to appear on the program, but they responded that they had nothing more to say on the matter.

Text: Copenhagen Zoo kills 4 lions, weeks after shooting giraffe

Video: Zoo director debates giraffe decision

Filed under:  Activism • Denmark • Europe

Fresh lead in Madeleine McCann case

March 20th, 2014
02:45 PM ET

Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 in Portugal sparking one of the most high-profile missing child cases in history.

Now British police have identified a new person of interest.

Tanned, with dark hair, unshaven and smelling of tobacco and aftershave, the new suspect is thought to have committed a string of break-ins and sexual assaults not far from where Madeleine disappeared

Though this man assaulted five British girls, all aged 10 or less between 2004 and 2006, he has never been found.

He's not the only person still being searched for by the police. With Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood of the London Metropolitan Police emphasizing that "it's very important for us to understand and identify who this offender is," there are six other individuals that police want to speak to in connection to the case.

Becky asked criminologist and child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas how he felt about this new development. He said that although it's wide, "if anyone did know this person they'd be able to come forward." He also emphasized that the issues with solving the case go further than just eliminating suspects. "The problem is the relationship between the Portuguese and the British police is one that is at best difficult, because there is not a communication level that is really open." And, he adds, "The only people that will solve this will be the people in Portugal."

On what this means for the McCann's, Williams-Thomas said that any move forward was positive for them. "Gerry and Kate live to the hope that one day they will find out. They will never give up."

Text: Madeleine McCann: Hunt for missing girl goes on

Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Breaking News • Europe • United Kingdom

Ambassador: Sanctions must be "painful to Russians"

March 18th, 2014
03:21 PM ET

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."

Text: US imposes sanctions on Russia

Text: West's sanctions on Russia: Are they just for show?

Filed under:  Crimea • Europe • European Union • NATO • Russia • Ukraine • United Kingdom • United States

Inside the Russian mind

March 14th, 2014
09:04 PM ET

The histories of Russia and Ukraine have been intimately linked for centuries – nowhere more so than on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, where many ethnic Russians live today.

But how do average Russians view the region?  And how does Crimea fit into President Vladimir Putin's broader ambitions?

Atika Shubert sat down with two Russian experts to learn more.

Uilleam Blacker, a Professor in Russian Literature, acknowledged that a large majority of Crimean residents identify as Russian, and even speak the language.  But he cautioned that ethnic background doesn't necessarily equate to support for joining Russia.

"Even with the Russian population," Blacker says, "There's no evidence to suggest that there's actually overwhelming support for joining Russia."

Freelance Russian journalist Masha Karp says the Crimean peninsula plays directly into Putin's plans for a resurgent Russia.

"I think this is part of his very powerful rhetoric," Karp says.  "Russia is getting off its knees.  Part of his propaganda is we are trying to become again a world power."

Filed under:  Analysis • Europe • Russia • Ukraine • Video

Crimea's place in Russian history

March 14th, 2014
08:48 PM ET

The possibility of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula re-joining Russia is – in many ways – a return to the past.

Russia's Soviet Empire once spanned all the way from the Kuril Islands – North of Japan – to Ukraine and Crimea in the West.  That empire was quickly dismantled at the end of the Cold War, splitting into fifteen independent states.

Despite the geo-political changes brought about by time and history, Crimea remains a region that looms large in both Eastern and Western Europe.  It's a place that has featured in literature, artwork, and national myth-making.

We look back at the Crimean peninsula's role in historic conflicts, and popular lore.

Filed under:  Analysis • Europe • Global Connections • History • Protests • Russia • Ukraine • Video
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