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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.

Tuesday's Connector of the Day: Sanyu Nakyeyune

November 30th, 2009
04:20 PM ET

After her parents died of AIDS when she was only ten years old, Sanyu Nakyeyune was left to look after her two younger siblings in a rural Ugandan village without electricity or running water. Trying to attend school on top of all her tasks at home was proving impossible. 

LEAD Uganda helped AIDS orphan Sanyu Nakyeyune into education.
LEAD Uganda helped AIDS orphan Sanyu Nakyeyune into education.

But with the help of LEAD Uganda – an educational leadership initiative helping AIDS orphans, former child soldiers and child laborers into schools – Sanyu is now attending one of the best boarding schools in the country and regularly achieving A+ grades. She wants to be a doctor when she is older.

LEAD Uganda is helping Sanyu and other African children learn the skills which will allow them to help solve their own problems.

Now aged 14, Sanyu is focused on serving her country and helping Africa. To mark World AIDS Day, Sanyu Nakyeyune is Tuesday's Connector of the Day. Send her your questions.

The trial of John Demjanjuk

November 30th, 2009
01:05 PM ET

The trial of a Ukrainian man suspected of complicity in the murder of more than 27,000 Jews during World War II began today in Munich, Germany.

John Demjanjuk is accused of being complicit in the murder of over 27,000 Jews during World War II.
John Demjanjuk is accused of being complicit in the murder of over 27,000 Jews during World War II.

John Demjanjuk is accused of being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

The trial could well be the last of its kind due not only to the age of suspected of World War II atrocities, but also the age of witnesses.

None of the witnesses to Demjanjuk's alleged crimes are still alive and prosecutors are relying on documentary evidence including an SS identity card featuring a young Demjanjuk which prosecutors say will help implicate him.

We would like to hear your views on the trial of John Demjanjuk. 

Will the trial of an 89-year-old man, who is in poor health, bring a sense of peace or any closure to the hundreds of the living relatives of his alleged victims? If convicted, Demjanjuk faces 15 years in jail – a term he is unlikely to complete. Could the millions of dollars being spent on trying him be spent in a more effective way compensating the relatives of war crime victims?


Filed under:  General

Monday's Connector of the Day: Bryan Adams

November 26th, 2009
07:06 PM ET

Gravel-voiced Canadian rocker Bryan Adams has been entertaining crowds for nearly 30 years. 

In recent years Bryan Adams has been snapping as much as rocking.
In recent years Bryan Adams has been snapping as much as rocking.

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, has 21 top ten hits to his name, and has achieved a number one record in 40 countries .“(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – the theme to the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – stayed at the top of the charts for a phenomenal 16 consecutive weeks in the UK singles charts.

When Adams recently got wind of Disney's intention to use his hit “Summer of 69” in their new comedy “Old Dogs” he called them up to thank them, and in doing so, ended up agreeing to write an original song “You’ve been a Friend to Me” for the movie’s soundtrack.

Adams is also a highly skilled and prolific photographer – having been art director on many fashion shoots and has taken photos of everyone from Mick Jagger to Queen Elizabeth II.

Adams uses the money he raises through photography to fund charitable projects. "The Bryan Adams Foundation" works to provide education opportunities for children worldwide.

Post your questions to the rock legend, photographer and philanthropist here and we’ll put a selection to him on Monday’s show.

U.S. and China boost to climate talks

November 26th, 2009
02:33 PM ET

Yesterday, officials in Washington announced that President Obama will be attending the climate conference in Copenhagen next month. The U.S. also showed its hand on what it would pledge at the December talks – 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 – which amounts to a drop of three percent below 1990 levels. 

China have followed the U.S. is stating their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
China have followed the U.S. is stating their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Today it was China's turn to state their position. It was reported by China’s official Xinhua agency that Premier Wen Jiabao will commit China to cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of national income by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

The news comes a day after the U.N.’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer announced that all countries must state in “black and white” what their emissions cuts will be.

With the world’s two biggest carbon polluters committing to cuts and their leaders attending the climate conference does this improve the chances of a deal being finalized next month? Or are the cuts too little too late? And what other climate measures would you like the U.S. and Chinese governments to commit to? Send us your comments.


Filed under:  General

Mumbai – one year on from the attacks

November 25th, 2009
06:30 PM ET

On the streets at the time, the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai left one feeling that the city would never be the same. India would not be the same. 

Mourners paint artwork on a kilometer-long wall of tribute dedicated to the victims of the attacks.
Mourners paint artwork on a kilometer-long wall of tribute dedicated to the victims of the attacks.

A common mood sloshed through every alley, a rising, indignant anger: enough was enough, something needed to change. Commentators called the attacks India’s 9/11: a time when the world stopped still, shocked at the horrors of humanity.

I’ve always believed the 9/11 analogy was not entirely correct. Unlike the U.S., India has had a long history of terrorism, random attacks engineered by a variety of adversaries and carried out by often faceless operatives.

In 2008 itself there were attacks in the cities of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Guwahati, and more. But what was truly ominous about comparing the Mumbai attacks to New York’s in 2001 was the expectation of a comparable government response.

A few days after the attacks I went with a CNN crew to a protest rally in Mumbai. Tens of thousands of Mumbaikars attended, venting their anger. Some of it was against politicians; most of it was against Pakistan. The mob was made up of young college students and professionals. Emboldened by their numbers, they demanded action. “Galli galli mein shor hai, Pakistan chor hai!” they shouted, roughly translating to: On every street, people are crying: Pakistan is a rogue country! On televisions, countless pundits insisted that this was India’s 9/11. And they expected a matching response from the government – against Pakistan.

Indian investigators have since laid out a mountain of evidence showing the attackers came from across the border, from the Pakistani province of Punjab. But it wasn’t clear who the anger in India was directed at: the Pakistan government and its inability (or in the protestors’ minds, unwillingness, or worse) to rein in the terrorists, or whether it was directed at the terrorists themselves who happened to be Pakistani. But there is no doubt that much diplomatic ire has been directed at Islamabad for failing to crack down on militants suspected of attacks in India. Finally today, one year later, Pakistan has charged seven men over the Mumbai attacks; they allegedly belong to the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba militant group.

A year on, where does India stand?

Given the immense internal pressure, it’s a marvel that the government rejected the notion of a military response. Elections were afoot; there was political mileage to be made. And yet by and large the public hysteria died down after a while. But India is right in pushing Pakistan to get its house in order.

Here’s a 9/11 analogy that works better: the main two hotels under attack in Mumbai – the Oberoi and the Taj – were symbolically the twin towers of Mumbai’s upper-class fabric.

But in 2009, the real terror story in India has been playing out far away from the corridors of finance, glitz, and glamor. Maoist rebels today operate in 223 districts, spread out across one-third of the country. The area is called the ‘Red Corridor’, where the rebels, known as Naxalites, routinely attack symbols of power. They orchestrate bombings, robberies, kidnappings, and massacres. The South Asia Terrorism Portal’s data shows these rebels have been responsible for 800+ civilians deaths so far this year – more than four times as many as those killed in the Mumbai attacks.

One year on, perhaps the greatest lesson to take away from the Mumbai attacks is this: defeat or victory can't be gauged by the success of a terror attack; it is determined by the response. In the end, India reacted responsibly to Mumbai – by pushing for investigations and justice, and by avoiding a reckless military response. It's important to recognize that combatting terrorism - be it from an internal or external source - requires a more nuanced approach than just fighting fire with fire.

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