Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
Thursday's Connector of the Day is Emma Thompson: She is the multi-award winning actress whose work off the screen is as prolific as it is on. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/18/art.thompson.jpg caption="Emma Thompson is raising awareness about human trafficking."]
Familiar to millions of fans throughout the world for anything from period classics ("Sense and Sensibility"), comedies ("Love Actually") and children’s favorites ("Harry Potter," "Nanny McPhee"), she has always been heavily involved in humanitarian work.
Thompson has concentrated her attention on the plight of children, campaigning with compassion and fervour to bring the issue of child trafficikng to the fore. An international superstar who appears to have a heart of gold, what better character to have to be our Connector of the Day.
If there is anything that takes me back to my childhood, it is news about dinosaurs. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/science/09/17/tiny.t-rex.dinosaur.discovered/art.raptorex.eight.courtesy.jpg
caption="Newly identified dinosaur had powerful legs, long claws and razor sharp teeth ."]
Today when I came in to the newsroom, amid the updates on Afghanistan’s election and the latest volleys on the missile defense shield, one story caught my eye: scientists were about to reveal a brand new dinosaur.
It is essentially a miniature Tyrannosaurus rex, the most feared monster that ever roamed this planet. Only this one, rather than measuring upwards of 13 meters, stood a mere 2.8 meters. But it still had all the characteristics –- the powerful legs, the long claws and the razor sharp teeth –- that are the stuff of nightmares.
And with that I was seven again. Pouring over any book in our local library that had the words "Jurassic" or "Triassic" in them, comparing the diets of one with the migratory patterns of another and wondering – which would win in a fight (because, frankly, that’s what seven-year-old boys tend to think about)? Later going out in my backyard, shovel in hand, digging under our porch, hoping to make a discovery of my own.
Dinosaurs gave way to space adventures, both lost out to adolescence and then adulthood. But there will always be that part of me –- when I am in a museum or even passing by a toy store with plush dinos –- that remains a budding paleontologist. And that young boy inside will be watching with rapt attention when the show tonight explains more about this new discovery, and what it means to our understanding of these magnificent beasts.
What do you think about the new dinosaur discovery? Share your thoughts with us.
U.S. General David Petraeus, who has overall control of troops in Afghanistan, has warned that the Taliban is “without question” strengthening its grip on the country. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/18/afghanistan.italy.troops/art.italy.afghan.jpg caption="A recent car bomb targeting allied troops killed six Italian soldiers in Kabul."]
In a speech in London Thursday - just hours after a new deadly car bombing targeted coalition forces in Kabul - Petraeus insisted the coalition “mission was still do-able” but “the stakes are high.”
Petraeus, the architect of the “surge” strategy credited with halting spiraling violence in Iraq, warned that the West needed to be steadfast in its commitment to Afghanistan if results were to be achieved.
The U.S. general’s comments came as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said it would be “best” for his country’s troops to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible after six Italian troops died in Thursday’s car bombing.
U.S. public commitment to Afghanistan has also been wavering. Some in America are urging a full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, advocating the use of a battle fought from afar using unmanned drones and a small special operations force.
Earlier this week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said it was to early to say whether more American troops were needed in Afghanistan, despite increasing levels of violence.
Biden said a reevaluation of resources in Afghanistan should only happen after the results of last month’s presidential elections, themselves marred by sporadic violence and numerous allegations of corruption.
Do you think the coalition mission in Afghanistan is still achievable? What do you think is the best way to end the violence?