Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
'Ere we go....
It's the only game in town and tonight we're all over it like a rash! CTW is live in Rome...for what the British press is headlining: "The Final the World's Been Waiting For..."
At 845p local time two of the world's best teams kick off in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Man U and Barca are at the top of their games. And even if they weren't there's a sub-plot here which is gonna be worth the watch. Gladiator vs. Streetfighter, Showman vs. Shy Man... bill it as you will, the head-to-head between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi should be priceless. I'd give my right arm to be in Rome tonight – I'm not sadly but the mighty Pedro Pinto and Alex Thomas are, and they've been giving it LARGE all day in the build up to the match.
United have the edge with the bookies with less than an hour to go. Who do you fancy???
Email us at: email@example.com; tweet at #cnnctw; blog, blag...
Hot off the press – our man in Pakistan tells us that the military there claims they've broken the back of the Taliban. Their line not ours and take it as you will. But we have some compelling material tonight in support of that. Just spoken to Ahmed Rashid – a Lahori-based journo who says the local media is responsible for a massive sea-change in sentiment. Nightly, TV stations have been replaying images of the Taliban flogging a young girl, scenes, he says, that have finally helped convince people the Taliban are a real threat.
Tonight on the show we ask: has the media been TOLD to go pro-government; is there diasporic/external pressure to do so; and could the military/media offensive really end up strengthening its democracy thru this crisis.
And what's the connection between Richard Branson and Tiger Woods.... and no it's got nothing to do with the quality of Branson's golf swing. Believe me, I've played the game with him and his tonk off the tee has to be seen to be believed!
Join us at 9p london time.
So, Iran has announced that it’s tested a missile that could conceivably hit Israel, southern Europe and U.S. bases in the Gulf. Coincidentally, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced new of the test on the same day campaigning for the June 12 presidential election officially started. Whether this is an arms race, or an election race, there is no doubt a race of some sort is on and it’s got Western officials worried.
This is what U.S. President Barack Obama had to say about all things nuclear today: "We do not want a world of continued nuclear proliferation. And that in order for us to meet the security challenges of the future, America has to take leadership in this area.
“This is particularly true at a time when countries like North Korea and Iran are in the process of developing nuclear weapons capacity, at a time when we see a country like Pakistan with a large nuclear arsenal on the other side of a long running conflict in the subcontinent with India, at a time when terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda are trying to seek fissile material.”
Hang on a minute Mr. President…
There is no doubt that most sane people would agree that a world of continued nuclear proliferation is not a safe world. And it’s commendable that America takes leadership in this area.
But take a look at the connective tissue here. Firstly, the Los Angeles Times today quotes a pair of reports by prominent think tanks downplaying the potential dangers presented by Iran, concluding: “…Tehran is at least six years away from building a deliverable nuclear weapon and that its ability to wreak havoc in the Middle East through surrogates is exaggerated.”
Secondly, Washington’s concerns about Tehran come at a time when the U.S. itself is actively pursuing the creation of the Arab world's first nuclear energy program (and the multi-billion dollar business opportunities that go with it). Granted, this is an accord under which the UAE could buy nuclear material from the United States only in exchange for agreeing not to make or reprocess nuclear fuel itself - a limitation intended to prevent the development of a weapon.
But the deal has hit a snag. The emergence of videotapes depicting what the Washington Post describes as “a grisly beating administered by a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates.” The paper goes on to quote Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) as saying "a country where the laws can be flouted by the rich and powerful is not a country that can safeguard sensitive U.S. nuclear technology.”
Tonight on Connect the World: Images from that videotape and analysis with one of the show’s Big Thinker’s – Bill Emmot – on just who’s getting in to bed with whom when it comes to Nuclear deals.
What price a safer world?
Join us at 9p London time.
After a feverish day of speculation the Sri Lankan Army have revealed what they claim is the body of Velupillai Prabhakaran. They provided an ID card as evidence of the body’s identity and the face certainly looked like that of the rebel leader. You can’t underestimate what this signifies to those to hated him, nor those who adored him. To impartial observers, Prabhakaran was the ultimate leader. He was a cult figure to his followers and many gave their lives to his cause. Little wonder then that those that still live refuse to accept his demise. LTTE sources have gone further by saying their leader is alive and well. Whatever the truth, the cause, if not the man, live on. In fact Prabhakaran could become a messianic figure to those who will now see him as a martyr. So, if the Sri Lankan government wanted to end this permanently, would it have been better off talking more to the LTTE? That's what the British government did with the IRA and its worked, to a certain extent. On Connect the World tonight we look at various internal conflicts and ask if suppression or negotiation worked best.
Max Foster here tonight, filling in for Becky.
Commentators (more seasoned than me) are saying the British parliamentary system is in the worst state for a generation. Why? Because there is a serious question mark over the moral fibre of politicians now that their expense claims have been published. They included claims for clearing moles from a garden and the upkeep of swimming pools and even a moat. MPs have done nothing illegal because they are allowed to claim expenses on a 'second home'. But they have been accused of milking the system and failing to realise just how offensive their claims are to a general public dealing with mass job losses and failing investments. Each time another expense is revealed on the front page of the Telegraph (which paid for the leaked documents) the claimant uses the same reasoning – that they acted within the rules but that the rules need reform. They then hit out at the media for blowing the story out of proportion and denting confidence in democracy. I am a member of the media so you can assume I refute that claim. But instead of taking my word for it, hear what the British public has to say about their elected officials. On Connect the World we take a litmus test of opinion from Britain's most outspoken professional – the London cabbie.
For that and other stories... tune in at 9pm British time.