Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

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.

Special report: Is the war in Afghanistan worth it?

September 9th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

It has been nearly a decade since American and coalition troops entered Afghanistan as part of a global war on terror and as September 11 approaches once again, both critics and supporters of the invasion are evaluating what the future holds.

The war started back on October 7, 2001 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in an attempt to oust the Taliban and destroy Al Qaeda's base in Afghanistan.

More than 35 countries joined U.S. forces as part of "Operation Enduring Freedom" and in total more than 100,00 soldiers were part of the NATO – International Security Assistance Force invasion.

Inititally, military operations went smoothly and the Taliban regime quickly fell, but as the years went on, the situation only worsened.

The political situation on the ground is still very perilous, and security forces are still struggling to contain insurgents and militants operating in the country.

More than 2,000 American and coalition troops have been killed and thousands more have been injured since the start of the war.

Unpopularity with the war in Afghanistan among Americans reached an all-time high according to recent CNN poll with 62 percent saying they oppose it.

Moreover, confidence in the Afghan government is even lower than it is for the Iraqi government. Seven in 10 Americans are not confident that Hamid Karzai's government can handle the situation there.

We held a special online debate alongside our hour long report. Here's a look at some of the highlights of our show and some of the great comments that you shared with us.

Global Connections: Can you connect Sweden and Malaysia?

September 3rd, 2010
04:09 PM ET

When you mention two countries as different as Sweden and Malaysia, you wouldn't think that they have anything in common, but if you look a little harder, you'd be surprised to learn that they have a lot more connections than you may think.

Know anything about Sweden?
Know anything about Sweden?

We've chosen the Scandinavian heavyweight and south-east Asian nation as our second set of countries in a segment on CNN International's "Connect the World," that we're calling "Global Connections."

On the surface these two countries seem as different as apples and oranges. Sweden is famous for its freezing temperatures, furniture company Ikea, ABBA and of course Swedish meatballs.

Malaysia on the other hand is well-known for Kuala Lumpur's Petronas towers and the natural beauty of tropical rainforests and majestic mountain ranges.

So what on earth could the connections between these two countries possibly be?

Well, that's why we are going to be relying on you.

We need you to send in your ideas and comments on what connections exist - whether it be text, video or photos. We'll be choosing the best ones and then airing them on CNN International. This is your chance to appear on the show to share your connections with the world.

What does Malaysia have to offer Sweden?
What does Malaysia have to offer Sweden?

The connections can be anything from culture and geography to music and the economy.

We also want to hear your personal stories too. Perhaps you have a family member that moved from one country to the other years ago and you want to get in touch? Maybe you visited one country years ago on holiday and something special happened? Whatever connection you think there is, we want to know.

All you have to do is leave your comments below on what connections you think exist and then one of our team members will be in touch.

You can also post your video responses directly to our very own CNN iReport page which you can visit by clicking here.

Now it's time for you to get involved - get connecting!

Was the war in Iraq worth it?

August 31st, 2010
02:01 PM ET

Military combat operations in Iraq will be officially coming to a close on August 31 and the day will mark the end of a lengthy and bitter conflict that has divided people around the world.

U.S. President Barack Obama will be marking the end of the war by personally thanking members of the military for their contribution and will also mark the milestone with a speech from the Oval Office.

Even though the official combat mission is ending, roughly 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in the country until the end of 2011. Their mission will be to train, assist and advise the Iraqis.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki proclaimed Iraq as "sovereign and independent" during a national address Tuesday to mark the official end of the U.S. combat mission in his country.

Al-Maliki praised the strides made by Iraqi security forces in fighting terrorism, attributing their efforts to making the U.S. drawdown possible.

"If these security achievements were not real, we would not have been able to move to executing the bigger and more important step, which is the withdrawal of American forces that is happening today," he said.

"This withdrawal would not have happened without the sacrifices of all the Iraqi people and the heroics of the army, police and security forces and the tribesmen who supported them.

As Iraq marks this important day, CNN International's "Connect the World" is bringing you a special one hour program dedicated to bringing you the answers of whether the Iraq war was worth it.

More than 4,000 U.S. troops have been killed so far and 316 members of the coalition have also lost their lives.

Reliable numbers on civilians killed are difficult to determine, but according to the human rights group "Iraq Body Count," between 97,000 and 106,000 Iraqis have been killed since 2003.

The war has also cost the U.S. government more than $700 billion according to the U.S. defence department.

We want to know what you think.

After more than seven years of conflict, was the end result worth it? Was the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of a democratic government worth the loss of life?

Let us know what you think and please leave your comments below - be sure to also include where you're writing from. You can also tweet CNN's Becky Anderson @BeckyCNN if you want your tweet read out.

Tune in on Tuesday August 31 at 2100 London time, 2200 central Europe time or 1600 New York time.

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Filed under:  General

Global Connections: What's up with Brazil and Nigeria?

August 27th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

On the surface, both Brazil and Nigeria may seem like they have absolutely nothing in common, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll soon realize that they have a lot more connections than you may think.

Know anything about Brazil?
Know anything about Brazil?

We've chosen the South American powerhouse and African stalwart as our very first pair of countries in our brand new segment on CNN International's "Connect the World," that we're calling "Global Connections."

One of the most beautiful countries on the planet, Brazil is the land of carnival, rainforests, beaches and football, while Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, famous for oil and Nollywood films.

So what on earth could the connections possibly be?

Well, that's why we are going to be relying on you.

In this new weekly segment, we'll be choosing a new pair of countries every seven days and that's why we will need you to get in touch and post comments and video.

Can you find something to connect Nigeria to Brazil?
Can you find something to connect Nigeria to Brazil?

The connections can be anything from culture and geography to music and the economy.

We also want to hear your personal stories too. Perhaps you have a family member that moved from one country to the other years ago and you want to get in touch? Maybe you visited one country years ago on holiday and something special happened? Whatever connection you think there is, we want to know.

We've even teamed up with local Nigerian radio station the Beat 99.9 FM and Nigeria’s No.1 entertainment, lifestyle & fashion website Bella Naija.

This is your chance to have your voice heard on CNN.

All you have to do is leave your comments below on what connections you think exist and then one of our team members will be in touch.

You can also post your video responses directly to our very own CNN iReport page which you can visit by clicking here.

Now it's time for you to get involved - get connecting!

Global view on gay marriage heats up

August 11th, 2010
03:41 PM ET

(CNN) Supporters of gay rights are still celebrating a federal judge's ruling in California that struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. 

The ruling has raised emotions in not only the United States, but in countries around the world.Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey.

Worldwide, 10 countries have legalized same-sex marriage - most recently Argentina at the end of July. 

Many other countries have approved civil unions and registered partnerships and still others are debating a legal status for gay people. 

Despite the growing number of countries, predominantly in the west, that allow same-sex marriage or recognize civil unions, homosexual behavior is still illegal in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates. 

As the debate heats up, Connect the World held a special edition of our program alongside a very lively online chat.

Here are some highlights from our special show as well as how the online chat went below. Feel free to continue the discussion by leaving your comments below.


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Filed under:  General
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