Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
A special edition of "connect the world" coming your way today. We are devoting the entire hour to a single threat that many fear could become the next global pandemic. As of writing, seven countries are struggling to contain an outbreak of swine flu - as new cases emerge by the hour. Ground zero is Mexico, where the health minister has confirmed that 149 people have died. While there are no deaths related to swine flu in any other country yet, there is a palpable and understandable sense of concern around the world as governments scramble to get their contingency plans in place should the WHO raise their level of pandemic alert. We'll be speaking to a top virologist in mexico city and asking how long the government there has known and could anything have been done before now to prevent the deaths and the fear. And i'll be talking to Liam Donaldson – the UK's chief medical officer, hot out of the latest cobra meeting about plans to contain any further spread should things get worse.
This is big and it's frightening. We want to hear from you – wherever you are in the world. Get connected and help us make the connections that matter....
Good evening Connectors.
It's a mad dash to the finish tonight. As of writing this is how the show stands;
The lede tonight is a story with powerful international ramifications. We're looking at increasing pressure on U.S. President Obama to push forward moves to prosecute Bush administration officials for incidents of alleged torture.
I'm going to be speaking with Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, as well as Cori Crider, part of a team of lawyers from Reprieve who represent clients locked up at Guantanamo Bay prisons.
As of this writing, what we are learning is this: Obama as a Commander-in-Chief is an equivocator. His flipflops this week have been remarkable. First he says he won't support prosecution of Bush lawyers who justified torture, then he says it's a decision for the attorney general and not for him. Midweek he says he'd like to see an independent commission if an inquiry is needed at all, only to suggest on Thursday that he's not interested in what some are billing as a "Truth Commission." What does the guy want?
We're exploring that story, and a bunch of others. Tune in - less than an hour to go! We also have a special segment with one of our panelists, Nick Thompson, looking back at the week in Connections.
This was a really fun segment we planned for Connect the World. It's amazing how a plate of food has an intricate story to tell, a tale of journeys, adaptation, invention, and nostalgia. Take a look below. We'll have more of these segments coming up on the show in the next few weeks.
A late take tonight on what's on the show.
We'll lead with what appears to be the final throes of a civil war that's lasted more than two decades in Sri Lanka.
It's a story that spurs protests in France and defiance here in Britain where a Sri Lankan ex-patriate vows the rebel movement will live on.
Then: Initially the U.S. president said he wanted to leave a shameful past behind.
Now - it seems he could be shifting course. Our next connection begins in Washington - where Barack Obama says he's open to prosecuting Bush-era officials who devised harsh interrogation tactics - including many of those used on terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
So when do "harsh interrogation" tactics rise to the level of torture - and is it ever justified?
You'll hear from one of our "big thinkers" - Eric Margolis is one of a dozen or so panelists helping the show team explore the connections - or links - that matter.
Find more on the panelists on the Web site.
And: Anticipation in South Africa over new leadership. The rest of the world is watching and waiting. But not for long.
Voters head to the polls in just hours to choose a parliament.
The South Africa election could have a huge impact across the continent ... and worldwide.
Lots of other good Connections stories in the mix but no time to fill you in so you'll have to watch the show! 9p London time - don't be late.
Remember this is your show - we need your help to better connect us all to the stories that matter around the world.
A big warm welcome to Becky's Briefing - the blog that gives you the lowdown on how we're developing the rundown for CNN's daily Connect the World show – the new prime time program that airs at 9p London time.
Every day around this time I'll post my thoughts on the day's best stories and events.
And we're looking for your feedback and the connections - or links that you think matter. Wherever you live, whatever you do - get engaged. Tell us how the stories we'll be reporting are playing out in your region.
TONIGHT: Iran's president torpedoes a U.N. conference in Geneva, accusing Israel of racism, leading many of those attending on behalf of Western governments to walk out.
Difficult though to ignore the cheers from those who stayed - a reminder, if nothing else, that not everyone disagrees with what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has to say on the subject.
Our Connections take us to Israel, Iraq and Washington tonight as we get a 360-take on this story.
We're also following the fallout from the latest salvo from Sri Lanka as government troops force the mass exodus of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
From rare, must-see footage to scenes of mass protests in London by Tamil exiles, we make connections with the people who count in what is one of Asia's longest running wars.
No time for any more tonight as this is late and I've got to help edit the show.
Tune in and GET CONNECTED!