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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.

Monday's Connector of the Day – Shakira

December 3rd, 2009
05:25 PM ET

Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.

Famous for her hit record ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, (a collaboration with Wyclef Jean) –it was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history, with 9,637 broadcasts.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/03/shakira.art.jpg caption="Shakira's famous dance moves help raise awareness for children's charities"]

Growing up in Barranquilla, on the Colombian Caribbean coast, when she was eight years old, Shakira's father declared bankruptcy. Losing most of their possessions, the young Shakira thought the world had ended, until her father took her to a local park where she witnessed the sight of orphans living there, taking drugs and sniffing glue.

At that moment Shakira made a vow to herself that one day she would become a famous artist and help these kids.

Like her hips, she didn’t lie: she became a stratospheric hit worldwide – acording to Forbes Magazine, the 4th highest-earning woman in music for 2008 – and she did not forget her promise to the children.

At just 18 years old, she founded The Pies Descalzos Foundation – named after her 3rd album – which helps deprived children get access to good education. Their work is based close to Shakira’s birthplace. Otherwise known as the the Barefoot Foundation – the charity is named after her distinctive belly dancing stance.

Not stopping there, as UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, Shakira has taken her humanitarian work worldwide.

A belly-dancing Latin bombshell, and philanthropist raising millions for children’s charities – Shakira is our connector of the day.

Send your questions for Shakira and we’ll put the best of them to her on Monday’s show.

The forgotten victim

December 3rd, 2009
01:47 PM ET

A little over two years ago, British exchange student Meredith Kercher was murdered in a flat in Perugia, Italy. [cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/03/kercher.art.jpg caption="Exchange student Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007. "]

On Friday, a jury will start their deliberations as to whether her flatmate, 22-year-old Amanda Knox and Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, are guilty of the Briton’s murder.

One man, Ivory Coast immigrant Rudy Guede, is already behind bars for his part in the murder.  

But the very public trial of Knox and Sollecito, which has lasted almost a year, raises a number of issues.

It has, at times, felt as if the victim and her grieving relatives have been totally forgotten such has been the media obsession with the “facts” of the case and the alleged behaviour and public demeanour of Amanda Knox.

Another problem has been the curious antiquities of the Italian judicial system which appears to condone prosecutors leaking juicy tidbits to reporters before a trial has even started. The chief prosecutor in this case, Giuliano Mignini, wasn't backward in coming forward before the trial began.

And far from marking the close of a gruesome chapter in the lives of all those affected by this tragic case, the end of the trial will, no doubt, start a mad rush to secure exclusive interviews with all those involved – especially Knox, if she is acquitted.

Do you think that the victim has been forgotten? What has been your opinion of the coverage of the trial? Has all the information that has been available to the public hampered objectivity and more importantly the objectivity of the jury? Post your comments below.

Filed under:  General