Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
Today the world watched the first, full military parade since the Saddam Hussein years. Quite a day for the people of Iraq, six years after coalition forces surged into the country. I was in Kuwait in 2003 anchoring CNN’s coverage of the war. I’ll never forget commenting on those iconic images - the fall of Saddam’s statues in cities across the country; scenes that marked a new beginning and history in the making -– or so I thought.
But as U.S. forces hand over authority to the Iraqi government and withdraw from the country’s cities, I can’t help feeling slightly concerned about the future of the brittle state. Describing today as a "glorious page" in Iraq's history, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said: "Security will not be achieved completely without proper political environment and without a real national unity and reconciliation". That is a BIG ask.
So, I want to hear your thoughts on the connections to the story. What are the ramifications of this handover of power, not just for Iraq but for the region? What impact has the war in Iraq had on you? And what of the war many of the American forces will be moving on to take part in - the fight for hearts and minds in Afghanistan?
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I was sitting in my car in a traffic jam at close to midnight when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had died (wish I'd been somewhere more glam than the particularly polluted part of the A1 in South West London but hey!)
Tell us where you were, and where you rememeber being when other great icons of our age passed away - Elvis, John Lennon, Princess Di etc?
Michael Jackson "moved like a butterfly" like Mohammed Ali.
He was the Pele of the music world.
He was an ICON.
Please leave a comment.
Pop quiz: You need an organ transplant, but the waiting list for a donor in your country runs into the thousands. It's generally understood that a transplant is a last resort. So, this is a question of life or death. What do you do? Do you wait - and hope? Or do you join the thousands around the world who are prepared to pay for an organ on the black market?
Where there is a demand there will always be a supply. And business is business, right?
In the UK, senior doctors have complained of growing strains on the publicly-funded National Health Service from botched transplant operations conducted abroad, while doctors in India see poor donors dying after selling one of their kidneys. So, is the answer the legalization of the trade of human organs?
Help us - the Connect the World team at CNN - make the connections. Your thought and comments please....
"We didn't get a chance to speak to each other and I haven't heard from him now after a week." I've just finished speaking to Fatemah Shams, the wife of an Iranian political activist who was detained as he tried to leave the country last week.
Imagine how she feels. She has absolutely no idea where her husband is nor how he is being treated. "The only indirect news that's coming out from different sources tells that he's in the central prison of Tehran, Evin. But we don't know where exactly he is and how he is doing..."
And she had a message to the Iranian authorities: "I really ask them to release him. I ask for the immediate release of my husband and other reformist activists who have been detained over the last couple of days."
This is a story that resonates with all of us. I'd love to hear from you on this story.
The show's mission is to join the dots of stories and events by exploring how an event or circumstance in one part of the world can have significant impact and reach elsewhere. And, ever, we need YOUR help to make those connections - wherever you live, whatever you do.
I really need your help today. The French President Nicolas Sarkozy say's the burka - a garment worn by Muslim women that covers the body from head-to-toe - "deprives women of identity." As the French parliament considers a ban on the burka, I want to know how this story resonates with you. If you live in France, does it/will it impact your life - and if so how? If you live elsewehere, how does a French ban resonate with you? As I write this, CNN.com's quick poll suggests three quarters of the near 8,000 respondents on (and this is an unscientific poll) believe the burka is an issue of women's freedom and not of religion - effectively agreeing with the French president when he says women weraing burka's are stripped of their dignity and are "prisoners behind netting." I want your input for the Connect the World show that airs at 9 pm London time. Our mission is to join the dots of stories and events by exploring how an event or circumstance in one part of the world can have significant impact and reach elsewhere. The aim is to spin the globe around each story; diving into its past, looking to its future, and highlighting the people, places and problems that inform it. And we need you to help us do that.
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