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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.

Tuesday's Connector of the Day – Steve Rolles

November 16th, 2009
08:29 PM ET

Drug prohibition in various forms has been in place for over 100 years. Based on the simple premise that drugs are bad for the people who take them, and for communities as a whole, Governments spend billions on attempting to eliminate the supply and use of illegal substances, like cocaine and marijuana.

Send your questions for Steve Rolles.

Send your questions for Steve Rolles.

While it seems wholly plausible that a drug-free world would make it a better place for the majority – there is overwhelming evidence that the criminalisation of drug production/ supply/ possession is not largely effective at creating a 'drug free' society. In fact there are many who argue that the "War on Drugs" has been a failure. Under prohibition drug usage has risen, drugs have become cheaper and more available, and illicit production has easily met the growing demand.

Worse, the policy of making drugs illegal may have led to a series of catastrophic unintended consequences associated with illegal trade – violent criminals rule production, increasing drug-related crimes manifold. The drugs industry generates over $300 billion each year which has been associated with funding corruption and terrorism (building an arms insurgency which has fuelled civil war in Colombia for example, and reportedly providing income for the Taliban.

Steve Rolles is our connector of the day on Tuesday. He works for the UK group 'Transform' which campaigns for the legalisation of all drugs. In his book "After the war on drugs: Blueprint for regulation" Rolles argues that we have a clear choice: drugs markets can remain in the hands of organised criminals and street dealers, or they can be controlled and regulated by the Government. By legalising drugs, we can minimise the harms associated with drug supply and use.

What do you think of this argument? Send your questions for Steve Rolles here and we'll put the best of them to him on Tuesday's show.

Too late to halt climate change?

November 16th, 2009
04:17 PM ET

U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders from the rest of the world's top economic powers acknowledged Sunday that there is no hope of a major breakthrough over climate change by the end of the year.

Are world leaders taking climate change seriously?

Are world leaders taking climate change seriously?

This bleak acknowledgment followed comments from Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen at the APEC summit in Singapore that next month's conference in Copenhagen is no longer likely to yield a major accord to battle global warming.

Kumi Naidoo, the new International Executive Director of Greenpeace, told CNN that climate talks have so far been strangled by "short-term expediency, election cycles and national parochialism."

He said politicians need to realize that this is not a business negotiation because “nature does not negotiate.”

He added: “From Florida to Bangladesh one in 10 people live within a meter of sea level. The ice-caps are melting and it seems inevitable that all of those people will have to defend or abandon their homes this century.”

Read Naidoo's column for CNN

According to Mike Froman, White House deputy national security adviser, President Obama made a surprise appearance at a breakfast devoted to climate change at the APEC summit and told other leaders it's important for at least some progress to be made next month.

But Naidoo insists we need a deal now before it really is too late.

Do you have any confidence that the world’s leaders are united in their desire to secure meaningful agreements on climate change?

Post your comments below and we’ll include the best ones in tonight’s show.

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More British kids heading for the ring

November 16th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

The noble art of boxing is making a comeback in schools across Britain, according to a leading British newspaper.

Would you let your child put on gloves?

Would you let your child put on gloves?

Despite being labeled as too dangerous by politicians and experts in the past, the number of schools with boxing on the curriculum has jumped from 20 four years ago to 1,931 this year, the Guardian said.

And with articulate Londoner David Haye becoming Britain’s first heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 2004, boxing's profile among young people is sure to rise further.

Britain’s Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell admitted that she had all but written off boxing as too dangerous to be considered as a mainstream sport over a decade ago. "I was public health minister and the British Medical Association quite regularly at that time called for boxing to be banned," she told the Guardian.

However she pointed to a marked improvement in the sport's safety record and the fact it is now ranked below disciplines such as gymnastics and horse riding on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ list of most dangerous sports.

Do you regard boxing as a sport and would you encourage your child to enter the ring?

Let us know what you think  and we'll include the best comments on tonight's show.

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