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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.

What's the Point of G-8?

July 8th, 2009
02:43 PM ET

LONDON, England - Leaders of the G-8 member states are gathered for their latest summit, in the Italian mountain town of L'Aquila. That much is clear. What is less certain is what they are there to discuss. 

Preparations for the meeting have been chaotic, and there is little evidence of a clear agenda. The British Guardian newspaper reports that Britain wants the meeting to address five key issues hindering recovery from the most serious global downturn since the 1930s -– a credit famine, rising unemployment, protectionism, a lack of investment and oil prices.

All well and good, but with more than 40 heads of state on the guest list, it’ll be nigh on impossible to get agreement on any one measure, let alone those defined as the most pressing by Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Growth in the west's leading industrial nations has collapsed since the banking crisis last autumn, with output dropping at an annual rate of nearly 5 percent in the UK, 8.4 percent in Japan, close to 7 percent in Germany and 2.5 percent in the U.S..

Given the precarious state of our economies, this lack of preparedness is a farce. Add to this mess the fact that the host country has blatantly failed to cough up what it promised in aid to the developing world, and it's hardly surprising that there's growing pressure from other member states to have Italy expelled from the group. 

I want to hear your thoughts. How does this G-8 summit resonate with you? What do you think the heads of the loosely-termed "leading industrialized nations" should be discussing? Does the G-8 really make sense in this day and age when these clearly aren't the most powerful economies?

We’ll use as many of your thoughts and comments as possible on Connect the World which airs at 9pm London time.

You can bank on the fact that some those attending will be watching the show, so bring it on… Leave your comments below or email me at connecttheworld@cnn.com. Don't forget to tell us where you're from!

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Filed under:  General

Six Degrees

July 8th, 2009
02:22 PM ET

It's time for our weekly viewer challenge, the Six Degrees of Separation game. This week we're asking you to come up with connections between "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe and the latest addition to the Real Madrid football club, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here are the rules: You come up with 5 other people (for six connections total) between these two, and post your ideas in the comments section. The most creative connection wins, and will be featured on Friday's show. We'll also send the winner a very special Connect the World prize.

To get you started on the right track, here is last week's winning submission from our viewer Djalma De Azevedo, who connected Michael Jackson to ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya: 

In his will, Michael Jackson named his close friend, former Supremes singer Diana Ross as the guardian of his children if his mother can not care for them. Ross was once interviewed by CNN's very own Larry King, who has also grilled U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama met with Brazilian President Lula Da Silva earlier this year for trade talks. Da Silva discussed Latin America's relations with the U.S. with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez back in May. And finally, Mr. Chavez's has thrown his support behind ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.  

So you think you can do better than Djalma?  Put your thinking caps on... and remember Daniel Radcliffe to Cristiano Ronaldo with five people between them, no more, no less.

Thanks for playing!