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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.

Would you be scared to fly through the ash cloud?

April 19th, 2010
04:32 PM ET

As travelers around the world battle with days of canceled flights and disrupted travel plans, another war between the airlines and air safety authorities is beginning.

An Airbus A380 is seen on the ground after a test flight.

An Airbus A380 is seen on the ground after a test flight.

Commercial European flights continued to be disrupted for a fifth straight day as the UK Civil Aviation Authority told CNN that there were still detectable levels of ash in the air.

A spokesman from NATS, the British air traffic control provider also said that it would not lift restriction on air travel in the current circumstances.

This is despite growing pressure from air travel groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and major airlines that are criticizing the tough restrictions.

Several airlines including British Airways have recently conducted test flights and have said that the aircraft sustained no damage.

British Airways' Chief Executive Willie Walsh said: "The analysis we have done so far, alongside that from other airlines' trial flights, provides fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary.

"We believe airlines are best positioned to assess all available information and determine what, if any, risk exists to aircraft, crew and passengers."

However, some test flights by military planes have indicated that the ash cloud does indeed damage aircraft.

Several Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet fighters that flew training missions over northern Finland last Thursday morning showed physical damage to parts of the plane.

A post-landing inspection revealed accumulations of powdery volcanic dust in the aircraft’s air intakes, according to a Ministry of Defense statement.

Imagery obtained indicated that even a short-duration flight inside an ash cloud may cause substantial damage to aircraft engines.

We want to know what you think.

Would you be confident enough to fly through an ash cloud? Are you still too scared to fly?

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Filed under:  General

Tuesday's Connector: Paul Rusesabagina

April 19th, 2010
12:49 PM ET

Paul Rusesabagina is credited with saving the lives for more than 1,200 refugees during the Rwandan genocide that claimed over one million innocent lives.

Rusesabagina, who was born in central Rwanda to a farming family was the assistant manager at the Hotel des Mille Collines at the onset of the genocide that was perpetrated by members of Interahamwe militia.

The Interahamwe targeted people of the Tutsi race and also moderate Hutu's at a time when the country was in the middle of both political and racial tensions.

During the 100 day genocide, Rusesabagina helped to shelter more than 1,200 people at the hotel and used many of his business and political connections to help keep the building both secure and safe.

With the help of the United Nations, Rusesabagina and his fellow refugees were able to escape the hotel on a convoy of trucks and eventually fled to Tanzania.

After the genocide with over, Rusesabagina and his family returned to Rwanda for two years before finally moving to Belgium.

Much has been written about Rusesabagina and his story, and the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda" became a Academy award nominated movie for best picture.

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