Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
The leader of the Catholic Church made quite a splash – and no shortage of headlines – with his recent Middle East visit. Becky was there as Pope Francis carefully straddled the Israeli-Palestinian divide and attempted to stimulate reconciliation where countless politicians before him have failed. Here are her thoughts on the pontiff's historic trip.
Pope Francis has arrived in the Middle East on a whirlwind tour and Connect the World with Becky Anderson is following the pontiff every step of the way. What does he hope to achieve from his travels and how is he going about it? Becky brings you the answers as the head of the Catholic Church receives a rapturous welcome in Amman, Jordan.
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."
In an unprecedented report, a United Nations committee slammed the Vatican's handling of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and accused the church of protecting itself rather than the victims.
Becky spoke to Irish clerical abuse survivor Colm O'Gorman to garner his reaction.
"I do think today is an incredibly significant and important moment that has been a very long time coming, where the Catholic church has been held accountable in the one place, frankly, where it can't dodge accountability. Because up until now it's used its status as a sovereign state to avoid responsibility in civil jurisdictions and national jurisdictions where it's claimed either sovereign or diplomatic immunity, and now really it's hoisted by its own petard. It's a state party to a binding international treaty, and it's going to have to be accountable for its gross violations of the rights of tens of thousands of children worldwide."
O'Gorman says that because all congregations and diocese operate under the authority of the Vatican, they can no longer avoid taking responsibility for abuses. But while this is a great development, the exact mechanisms for enforcing culpability and investigating misconduct still need to be finalized.
"I think there is some sense that Pope Francis will adopt a very different approach but we need to see that. He's put in place a Commission, that's valuable. What's important is to find out who exactly will be on this Commission. To what extent is he prepared to open the Vatican up to scrutiny and accountability? What kind of transparency will we see?"
Max Foster speaks to fashion expert Henry Conway about why Pope Francis was put on Esquire's "Best Dressed" list.