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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.

Reflections from the London marathon

April 26th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

The London marathon is truly one of the greatest races of all time. I’m a person that loves a challenge and I certainly love an adventure and my race yesterday was certainly that.

Krsna Harilela at the end of the London marathon.

Krsna Harilela at the end of the London marathon.

The first half of the race was fine. At the half way point I thought I'd pick it up a bit - I was feeling great so I thought why not?

Then mile 17 came. My stomach full of sickly sweet sports drink and candy got caught up in a wave of nausea and I made for the next set of toilets.

At that point I knew my chances of hitting my time target were out the window... so what do you do? Just jog along and enjoy it.

It wasn’t easy to get my legs going again, but once I did, the experience totally changed for me. I ran past a bottle of London Pride, chased a banana and got overtaken by Sherlock Holmes!

I talked to people, patted them on the back and strangers encouraged me whenever I stopped. London became a melting pot of human kindness and that was the best place to be... all of us putting our body through this hell but all for a good cause!

To the amazing runners I met along the way - WELL DONE! To the soldiers running with the 26lbs on their back - I salute you - and to those who fought illness to be there yesterday I honor you for your courage.

The war wounds are worth it and lessons were learned. Putting on my pajamas took as long as my last mile (long). I inherited my first black toe nail (which kinda makes me feel like a tough-guy), but the bling of the medal just makes all that fade and has put the silliest grin on my face.

I will take 4:28:17 for my first marathon, thank you very much!

I will take pride in the knowledge that I'm 0.1% of the population that completes a marathon in their lifetime.

And I will always remember the day I started my journey leaving my flat alone but ended with well over 36, 000 runners.

Now to put my feet up and rest.

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Filed under:  General

Monday's Connector: The Jonas Brothers

April 26th, 2010
03:20 PM ET

The Jonas Brothers are one of the biggest pop band phenomenons in recent memory and their mix of boyish good looks and upbeat music have catapulted the group to super star status.

The Jonas Brothers are your Connectors of the Day.

The Jonas Brothers are your Connectors of the Day.

The band is made up of three brothers - Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas - all of who have become teenage heart-throbs for millions of screaming girls.

The group first gained popularity on the Disney network and in the summer of 2008, they starred in their very own Disney movie called "Camp Rock".

They have already released four albums in a relatively short amount of time - their first one being "It's About Time" from 2005. .

The brothers have also raised millions of dollars for their charity, Change for the Children Foundation.

The band stated that they started "the Change for the Children Foundation to support programs that motivate and inspire children to face adversity with confidence, determination and a will to succeed."

When does a joke go too far?

April 26th, 2010
01:05 PM ET

Pope Benedict XVI will not call off a trip to Great Britain despite a leaked Foreign Office memo that made "foolish" suggestions about things he could do while there, the pope's spokesman reiterated.

Should the pope's visit to the UK go ahead?

"As far as the Vatican is concerned, the case is closed. There never was the slightest doubt about the trip," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN.

The British government apologized over the weekend for the Foreign Office memo suggesting that the pope could launch Benedict-brand condoms or bless a gay marriage when he visits the United Kingdom later this year.

The memo also includes suggestions that the pope ordain a female priest or launch an abortion clinic - both of which are forbidden by Roman Catholic doctrine.

Many of the ideas in the document are "clearly ill-judged, naive and disrespectful," the Foreign Office said in a statement Sunday, which referred to the memo as "foolish."

The writer of the memo "has been transferred to other duties. He has been told orally and in writing that this was a serious error of judgment," the Foreign Office said.

We want to know what you think. Was the memo meant as a joke? When does a joke go too far? How should the writer of the memo be disciplined?


Filed under:  General

Wednesday's Connector: Sarah, Duchess of York

April 26th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

She used to be a princess, a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and even a TV personality - Sarah, Duchess of York can count herself lucky for having some of the most interesting jobs under her belt.

Sarah, Duchess of York is your Connector of the Day.

Sarah, Duchess of York is your Connector of the Day.

Born in 1959 to an aristocratic family, she once described her upbringing as "country gentry with a bit of old money".

However, Sarah Ferguson, or Fergie as she is commonly known, is most well known for her marriage to Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II in July 1986.

The Queen dubbed Prince Andrew with the title of Duke of York and Ferguson immediately become known as the Duchess of York.

Andrew and Ferguson were married for ten years before they divorced in 1996. The pair have two children together, Beatrice and Eugenie.

After the divorce, Sarah continued her life in the public domain and soon become the face of many well known brands including Wedgewood China, Weight Watchers and Avon.

Sarah has also been a well known advocate for a number of charities including Children in Crisis, the American Cancer Society and Ronald McDonald House.

Today, the Duchess of York is working with the Oslo Freedom Forum and will be a speaker at the event which highlights individuals with first-hand experience in the fight for human rights.