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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.

Connector of the day: Vali Nasr

September 28th, 2009
08:22 PM ET

The secret to defeating Islamic extremists may well lie in targeting the Muslim world's ever increasing middle class.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/28/art.vali.nasr.gi.jpg caption="Vali Nasr is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs."]

That is just one of the many theories put forward in a new book by one of the world's most distinguished Middle Eastern commentators.

As an academic and scholar, the opinions and thoughts of Vali Nasr are sought by politicians the world over.

In his latest book “Forces of Fortune,” he suggests many solutions to the problems that have beset relations between Muslim countries and the West.

A senior advisor to the Obama administration, this is your opportunity to send questions to one of the most respected thinkers of our time.

What do you want to ask Vali Nasr? Send us your questions and we'll put them to him during the show on Tuesday.

Six Degrees: Angela Merkel to Phil Mickelson

September 28th, 2009
05:01 PM ET

What links Angela Merkel to Phil Mickelson? (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
What links Angela Merkel to Phil Mickelson? (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

LONDON, England - It’s time for “Six Degrees” — our weekly challenge for Connect the World viewers and Web users.

Here’s how to play: We choose two people in the news this week and ask you to connect them through the six steps.

In this week’s challenge we want you to connect Angela Merkel, who's just been elected German Chancellor for a second time, to golfer Phil Mickelson, who's won the U.S. Tour championship.

You need to come up with five other people between those two for a total of six links.

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

Need some inspiration? Check out last week’s winner, Dany Pelligrino, who connected tennis star Justine Henin to former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.

Here’s how he did it:

– Justine Henin beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 2007.

– Williams has appeared on "America's Next Top Model" hosted by Tyra Banks

– Who has also interviewed model Iman

– Who starred alongside Steve Martin in "L.A. Story".

– Martin also appeared in the film "Baby Mama" starring Tina Fey

– Who returned to "Saturday Night Live" last year with a dead-on impersonation of - and on one show appeared alongside - former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

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!

Should Roman Polanski be extradited?

September 28th, 2009
11:27 AM ET

Hollywood has few dramas to match the life of Oscar-winning film-maker Roman Polanski, detained in Switzerland on a 31-year arrest warrant for rape.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/27/zurich.roman.polanski.arrested/art.polanski.roman.gi.jpg caption="Roman Polanski was detained as he traveled to the Zurich film festival."] Polanski's mother died in a concentration camp. He spent several years homeless in 1940s and 1950s Europe. When he received critical acclaim in the 1960s for his early features, Hollywood beckoned. He married actress Sharon Tate – who was then butchered by the infamous Manson family in 1969. He fled to Europe after he pleaded guilty in 1977 to the rape of a 13-year old girl.

Last week Polanski's past caught up with him within the space of a few days. Susan Atkins, who murdered Tate, died in a California prison from brain cancer. The next day Polanski was detained after being served with an extradition warrant by Swiss authorities.

Should Polanski be sent back to America? Or should the extradition case against him be dropped?

The film industry has already begun to petition for his Polanski's release, with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Cannes Film Festival boss Thierry Fremaux leading the charge. His cause has also been served by Samantha Geimer, his victim, calling for the case to be thrown out; and French culture minister Frederic Mitterand, who has said that he is "deeply shocked" by the detention.

There is clearly sympathy with Polanski from several quarters. Many, including Polanski himself, allege the judge in the original case, who has since died, reneged on a plea bargain. Has Polanski not suffered enough, his defenders argue, both in his personal life and with his absence from Hollywood?

Amid the pleas and mitigation remain several facts. That Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. That he fled before sentencing. And that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is still interested enough to spend time and money, three decades later, to have him returned to California.

 Would the interests of justice be served by Polanski being returned to the United States? Or should he be allowed to go free? Tell us what you think and we will use some of your comments in the show.

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