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Mairi Mackay

Editor/Writer/Digital Producer

London

Mairi Mackay

Experienced award-winning digital journalist. Spent time in the Middle East, now back in London. Have written and edited for CNN.com and The Times.

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Before They Were ISIS

Rasheed Benyahia couldn’t bear the sight of blood — even the sight of it on television was enough to turn his stomach. “If he saw Casualty [a British medical drama], he’d be going, ‘Oh, mum, I can’t eat this Pringle now,’ ” says his mother, Nicola Benyahia. “He just couldn’t stand it.” It’s not that the young man, whose plump cheeks and wispy moustache made him look younger than his years, wasn’t brave. As a teenager he’d gotten into the adrenalin-fueled sport of free running, pulling awesomely gymnastic flips through the air on the streets of his hometown of Birmingham in the U.K.
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'Help us find a life:' The terrifying reality of living under ISIS in Raqqa, Syria

It's notoriously difficult to get information out of Raqqa. ISIS monitors everything inside the city. Due to security concerns all of the information in this article has been provided by activist group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered and many of the sources are unnamed for their own protection.
CNN International Link to Story
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Vacant homes and the super rich: How property became London's battleground

Spiraling property prices and uncontrolled rent have pushed property ownership out of the reach of many, leaving some Londoners feeling resentful. The situation is so severe that one pollster identified London housing as "a key electoral battleground" in the UK election on May 7. According to online real estate portal, Rightmove.co.uk, in the last 10 years average asking prices in Greater London doubled from $415,000 (£284,000) to $849,000 (£580,000).
CNN International Link to Story
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'Shoot us or help us': 3 stories from refugee crisis you need to read

The attacks in Paris earlier this month may have overshadowed the so-called refugee crisis -- but the greatest migration of people on the European continent since World War II continues unabated. In one of the most extreme protests seen since the start of the refugee crisis, about 10 men trapped on the Greek-Macedonian border have sewn their lips shut to silently oppose being blocked from continuing further into Europe.
CNN International Link to Story
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Ghostly ships filled with bodies arrive on Japan's shores

Over the past two months, at least 12 wooden boats have been found adrift or on the coast, carrying chilling cargo -- the decaying bodies of 22 people, police and Japan's coast guard said. All the bodies were "partially skeletonized" -- two were found without heads -- and one boat contained six skulls, the coast guard said.
CNN International Link to Story
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Palmyra: Will ISIS bulldoze ancient Syrian city?

At least 100 regime troops were killed overnight fighting ISIS, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. ISIS militants were going door-to-door looking for Syrian regime soldiers Thursday, one Palmyra resident who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution told CNN. "They (ISIS) are everywhere," another resident told CNN, adding that militants have put the city on curfew.
CNN International Link to Story
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Norway to Afghan migrants from Russia: You may get sent back to Kabul

(CNN)The Norwegian government has sent a stern warning to Afghan asylum seekers coming across the border from Russia: You could get a one-way ticket to Kabul. Hundreds of migrants have been crossing into Norway from Russia each week via the frontier above the Arctic Circle -- but last week marked a turning point, with more Afghans than Syrians seeking asylum for the first time, Norway's Directorate of Immigration said.
CNN International Link to Story
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From loser to kingmaker: Why Scotland could hold key to UK's future

The Scottish people had decisively rejected independence from the United Kingdom in a referendum that the Scottish National Party demanded. SNP leader and Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond -- who for more than 20 years led the Scottish nationalists from a fringe interest to the country's government -- resigned.
CNN International Link to Story
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Indiana Jones with a 3-D camera? Hi-tech fight to save antiquities from ISIS

(CNN)A new hi-tech front has opened in the battle to save priceless ancient monuments under threat from ISIS. A team of archaeologists has come up with a cheap 3-D digital camera that can capture a record of buildings and artifacts -- and they are sending thousands into hot spots in the Middle East and beyond.
CNN International Link to Story
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Hajj stampede: 5 things you need to know

(CNN)The Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage, has been beset by disasters since the 1980s, leaving thousands dead and more injured. This year has been particularly deadly, despite attempts by the government of Saudi Arabia to make the pilgrimage safer for the more than 2 million people who make the journey each year.
CNN International Link to Story
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Is U.S. bombing of Afghan hospital a war crime?

(CNN)The bombing by U.S. forces of a Doctors without Borders hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, which left at least 22 people dead, has caused outrage and raised questions around the world. The United States says it is conducting a "full investigation," but the medical aid group, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF -- which lost 12 staff members in the attack -- has called for an independent inquiry "under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed."
CNN International Link to Story
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Mysterious Korean 'ghost ships' found in Japan: What we know

(CNN)Tests are being carried out on decomposed bodies found aboard so-called "ghost ships" that have entered Japanese waters in the past five weeks. The key questions facing authorities: Who are they? And where did they come from? Evidence found on the boats and their grim cargo suggest they came from North Korea.
CNN International Link to Story

About

Mairi Mackay

I am an experienced, award-winning journalist with proven editorial judgement and creative thinking. My background is in digital journalism and I have 10 years experience in both news and features.

I am an experienced reporter (including working in the field) and newsdesk editor and have worked on stories including the war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the Paris attacks.

As a features journalist, I have written on a wide range of topics including: Middle East business and culture, contemporary art, film, travel, urban environment, religion, nonviolent protest and women’s issues.

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Skills

  • Copy Writing
  • Commissioning Content
  • Analytics
  • Photoshop
  • Copy Editing
  • Mobile Video
  • Feature Writing
  • Social Media
  • Multimedia
  • Infographics
  • Reporting
  • Editing
  • Digital producing
  • Broadcast
  • Storytelling
  • News