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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 – Michael Vaughan

October 27th, 2009
04:55 PM ET

In 2005, Michael Vaughan became the first captain of England’s cricket team to win the coveted Ashes series against Australia since Mike Gatting in 1986-87.

Vaughan's finest hour came in 2005 after England's Ashes win over Australia.

Vaughan's finest hour came in 2005 after England's Ashes win over Australia.

In his five-year spell as skipper of the national team, Vaughan developed a reputation as an astute on-field tactician as well as a talented batsman.

Indeed his batting proficiency saw him climb briefly to the top of the Test batting rankings during the 2002-2003 season.

Earlier this year, Manchester-born Vaughan decided to retire from the game altogether after a combination of injury and loss of form prevented him from making his Ashes swansong against the touring Australians.

But the record books will show he was England's most successful Test captain of all time with 26 wins from 51 matches.

Michael will be appearing on the show later this week as our “Connector of the day,” and will talk about his career, the current state of the game, and moves to expand its global profile beyond the Commonwealth countries that current dominate the Test scene.

Send your comments, questions to us and we’ll put the best ones to Michael on the show.

Connector of the day – Florence and the Machine

October 27th, 2009
02:22 PM ET

As the title of their hit song "Rabbit Heart 'Raise it Up'" suggests, British band “Florence and the Machine” have indeed raised their profile considerably in the last year.

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs at the 2009 Mercury awards.

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs at the 2009 Mercury awards.

Even before their album “Lungs” debuted quietly at number two on the UK music charts the week after Michael Jackson’s death in July, Florence and the Machine had already attracted considerable attention.

The band’s focal point, singer-songwriter Florence Welch, received a Brit Award for Critics’ Choice and a Mercury Prize nomination.

Like many performing artists, the discovery of Welch’s talent happened by chance. Almost three years ago, while an art student in South London, Welch was overheard singing at a local pub by indie-DJ Mairead Nash who liked what she had heard. Nash invited Welch to sing at an open-mike night the following week at another local pub.

Not having a stage name, or much time to rehearse prior to Nash’s gig, Welch improvised on stage with her vocals and with her stage name. It has been rumoured that the name Florence and the Machine was conceived on her way to the pub that evening.

Welch has since evolved into an emerging popular artist playing before crowds much larger than her local pub, having performed at the Glastonbury Festival and before a nationwide audience on the BBC’s Electric Proms program.

And Florence will be joining CNN Wednesday to talk about her music, her recent success and the band's curious name.

Send us your comments, questions for Florence and we’ll do our best to use them on Wednesday’s show.

Hard times for porn industry

October 27th, 2009
11:18 AM ET

From banking to manufacturing, virtually every sector of the economy has at some stage been adversely affected by the global downturn.

Many in the porn industry blame piracy, particularly online, for falling revenues.

Many in the porn industry blame piracy, particularly online, for falling revenues.

The adult entertainment industry was viewed by many in the industry as “bullet-proof” when it comes to recession, but this opinion has shifted over the past 12 months.

Mark Kernes, editor of Adult Video News, has been covering the world of porn for over 30 years. He says the industry in the United States was worth around $6 billion before the recession but now estimates filming on new productions is down by as much as 50 percent.

“"It’s the first time I am aware of that the industry has been affected by a downturn in the general economy,” he said.

"At its height I would say there were about 5,000 people employed in various positions, from warehouse people to executives. And perhaps another thousand performers."

But this has changed, he says, with staff being cut and performers now earning much less as budgets are slashed.

Leading porn producer Wicked Pictures has also pointed to the damage being done by piracy, with products being leaked to the Internet and viewed for free.

Do you think the adult industry can recover? Should we care? Send us your comments below.


Filed under:  General