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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: 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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Filed under:  General

How did child soldier become a hip-hop star?

September 25th, 2009
09:20 PM ET

Before he had even reached his teenage years, Emmanuel Jal had witnessed more horror than most people will see in a lifetime.

As a child soldier in Sudan during the 1980s he learned to fight and kill in training camps masquerading as schools. He still does not know how exactly old he is: only that he was taken from his family at an early age.

In his early teens he was plucked from this living nightmare by a British aid worker. While studying in Kenya he developed a love of music and discovered he had immense ability as a songwriter and performer.

Nowadays he is a successful hip-hop artist with three albums under his belt. His music appeared in the Leonardo DiCaprio move "Blood Diamond" and he took the stage at both "Live 8" and Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations.

But he hasn't forgotten his formative years, using his music as a force for good as he campaigns for peace and children's rights.

What do you want to ask Emmanuel Jal? Send us your questions and we'll put them to him during the show on Monday

Nuclear free?

September 24th, 2009
05:43 PM ET


(CNN) - The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for nuclear disarmament - a move hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as significant step.

Obama, the first U.S. President to chair a Security Council meeting, has said that the United States will play a key role in disarmament, seeking an arms reduction treaty with Russia.

"We harbor no illusions about the difficulty of bringing about a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said.

The U.N. resolution comes at a time of growing concern among Western nations over nuclear proliferation, particularly among countries such as Iran and North Korea.

On Thursday's Connect The World, we will look at why nuclear power is back on the agenda. Tell us what you think about the move: Do you think it is a step forward? Is it realistic?


Filed under:  General

Six Degrees: Justine Henin to Sarah Palin

September 24th, 2009
04:57 PM ET
What links Justine Henin to Sarah Palin? (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
What links Justine Henin to Sarah Palin? (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 to connect tennis star Justine Henin, who made her return to the sport this week, to U.S. former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, who made her debut in Hong Kong.

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 Troy Barrett, who managed to link fashionista Victoria Beckham with “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown.

Here’s how he did it…

Victoria Beckham is married to…

David Beckham, who, upon moving to Los Angeles with his family, was thrown a welcoming party in 2007 which was attended by…

Tom Cruise, who is a Scientologist, along with…

John Travolta, who starred in “Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D,” a documentary that also featured a role voiced by…

Rita Wilson, who is married to…

Tom Hanks, who starred in “The Da Vinci Code,” a book written by…

Dan Brown.

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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