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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.

Six Degrees: Usain Bolt to Hamid Karzai

August 21st, 2009
10:17 AM ET

It's that time of the week again!

Get your thinking caps on, we're handing down our Six Degrees challenge.

All you need to do is connect two newsmakers who have hit the headlines in six moves.

This week we want you to link Usain Bolt, who smashed two world records in Berlin this week, to Afghanistan president (for now, at least) Hamid Karzai.

Leave your submissions in the comments section below, and the team will pick the most creative connection, and I'll announce the winner on tonight's show.

Still need some inspiration? Check this out ...

One of our recent winners was Brian Petersen, who connected golfer Tiger Woods to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Here’s how he did it …

Tiger Woods played golf at age two with …

… entertainer Bob Hope, who played alongside …

…comedian Steve Martin in “The Muppet Movie,” who wrote a movie called “Traitor” starring …

… actor Don Cheadle, who helped carry out a heist in “Ocean’s 11″ with …

… actor Brad Pitt, who starred in “The Devil’s Own” with …

… actor Harrison Ford, who was interviewed by Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Bruno in the film of the same name.

Reckon you can do better? Then try your hand at connecting Usain Bolt and Hamid Karzai. Remember: you need five other people between those two: no more, no less. If you want your friends to take the challenge as well, then click the "share post" button below.

To see previous challenges, click here. Happy connecting!

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Afghanistan's Future

August 18th, 2009
05:25 PM ET

The contest for the future of Afghanistan is coming to a head. Crucial elections are scheduled for Thursday. Ahead of the vote, NATO forces have been ratcheting up their efforts to flush out the Taliban. But, at what cost?

President Obama reminds us that the fight against the Taliban is a fight to destroy the forces that harbour elements of Al Qaeda and, as such, is a fight to defend the US’s national interest. This week, I want to hear your thoughts on the future for Afghanistan. To kick start the discussion, here are the thoughts of one of Connect the World’s “big Thinkers” – panelist Eric Margolis.

“I do not believe AQ is growing in Afghanistan. There are many anti-American groups in the region, but the real, hard-core AQ remains tiny, almost invisible. Most AQ have gone to ground in Pakistan. AQ never amounted to more than 300 members at its peak in 2001. Today, it's down to a handful – but there are many sympathizers.
Osama Bin Laden was given refuge by the Taliban because he was a hero of the anti-Soviet jihad. Taliban knew nothing about his plans to attack the US, but after 9/11 refused to turn him over to Washington without a legit extradition process.
It is a serious error to confuse Taliban with AQ. AQ helped Taliban in its fight against the Afghan Communists, but that was the extent of their cooperation."

Send me your thoughts: email me at ConnectTheWorld@CNN.com or reply below. We’ll use as many of your comments as possible on the show this week (CTW, daily at 2100 London time)


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Filed under:  General

Could you cook and eat your pet?

August 18th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

Could you cook and eat your pet?
New Zealand animal lovers are up in arms over the news that an Aukland man, who hails from Tonga, killed and cooked his Staffordshire terrier with the intention of eating it

Under New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act, it is legal to kill and eat an animal if it is slaughtered swiftly and painlessly, but now local activists are demanding a change in the law.

Is this different to generations of farming families in Europe killing and eating their pet lambs, chickens or ponies? Are animal cruelty activists trying to end a barbaric practice, or interfering with specific cultural values?

Let us know your thoughts. Connect The World will report from New Zealand, explore the issue and use your feedback in the show.

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Filed under:  General

Mermaids, UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster

August 17th, 2009
11:38 AM ET

Do you believe in UFOs or mermaids?  Have you ever seen an alien being or a mysterious beast?

Do you believe in UFOs?
Tonight on Connect The World we're exploring the weird, the supernatural, and the downright fishy.  A town in Israel is offering a reward of $1 million to anyone who can prove there's a mermaid in the Med, after several reported sightings.

Meanwhile, strange lights seen in British woods in the 1980s, reported as a UFO sighting and known by sci-fi enthusiasts as "The Rendelsham incident," turns out very likely to have been a prank, according to classified documents just release by the Ministry of Defence.

On Connect the World we'll explore both stories and ask why, despite the lack of evidence, we still believe in the existence of supernatural beings, whether out there in space, or deep under the waves.

Your thoughts and comments below, please, or e-mail us on ConnectTheWorld@CNN.com

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What does Woodstock mean to you?

August 13th, 2009
02:45 PM ET

It's forty years ago this week that hundreds of thousands converged on a plot of land in New York state and became part of a now legendary event. The organisers were businessmen and were out to make money but they could never have predicted the numbers that would flock to the site. The gates were thrown open and it ended up being a free festival epitomising the zeitgeist of peace and love, plus a bit of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. The story was epitomised by one performer. Melanie was a relative unknown in the music business but she asked the organisers if she could get involved. Just before she went on stage, candles were being handed out as part of an unrelated silent protest. As Melanie nervously picked up her guitar, the enormous crowd was so taken by her performance, they started waving their candles. In the decades that followed, music fans would relive that moment time and again at their own concerts, with lighters rather than candles.
On Thursday's Connect the World, I sit down with Melanie in a famous London Sixties hangout and relive Woodstock and everything that comes with it. Was it really that special? Why is it just as fascinating for people who didn't go as for those that did?
Your thoughts would be much appreciated so we can use them in our coverage.

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