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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: MTV founder Bob Pittman

December 10th, 2009
08:21 PM ET

Known as "the father of MTV," at the age of just 27, Robert Pittman revolutionized the record industry by creating a channel dedicated to music videos. 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/pittman.art.jpg

="Bob Pittman masterminded MTV’s success in the 1980s. "]

Although the origins of music videos go back much further, they came into their own at this time, in 1981, when MTV based their format around the medium. Due in large part to Pittman's business skills the channel became the first cable network to become profitable.

Pittman began his remarkable career as a teenage disc jockey at a local radio station in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. He has since grown to become one of the most prominent figures in media.

Now the former MTV CEO, AOL top exec and Web investor is taking a stab at the liquor market with his new high-end tequila "Casa Dragones."

Send in your questions about MTV and the media world in general to Bob Pittman!

Tuesday's Connector of the Day – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

December 10th, 2009
07:11 PM ET


Using diplomacy and peaceful campaigning, Tutu has spent a lifetime striving to make the world a better place.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/tutu.art.jpg caption="Archbishop Desmond Tutu healing the world spiritually and environmentally."]

Throughout the 70s and 80s he was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement in his home country South Africa. The cleric was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and became the first black head of the Anglican Church of South Africa.

Not always popular, he had many enemies during decades of racial turbulence, but his faith, and trust in the universal goodness of humanity, carried him through.

Tutu celebrated with the rest of South Africa when in 1994 the apartheid system was dismantled. Since then, he has had more freedom to spread his universal message of tolerance and optimism – the essential good of man, in the face of evil.

Tutu’s religious and moral code, and his high-profile status, placed him ideally to sit on the TRC – Truth and Reconciliation Commission – a body which eased South Africa in to its new democratic era, with a very simple concept: forgiveness granted in exchange for the truth.

Nowadays, Tutu’s attentions turn to the global community and he throws himself in to many active causes on the international stage.

And This week he is coming out with his new Children's Bible.

 Last week on Thursday Tutu announced he will retire from public life in October, when he turns 79 years old.  "Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family - reading and writing and praying and thinking - too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," the Nobel laureate said in a statement. "The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses," he said.

Send your questions for Archbishop Desmond Tutu her, and we’ll put a selection of them to him on Monday’s show.

Is al Qaeda's influence spreading?

December 10th, 2009
01:06 PM ET

Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that one of the key aims of coalition forces fighting the Taliban was to “prevent the ability of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations from coming into Afghanistan and using it as a safe haven.” 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/alqaeda.art.jpg

="Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility of the the recent car bombs in Iraq. "]

It was an opinion echoed by the UK’s Defense Secretary, Bob Ainsworth earlier this week as the UK’s death toll in Afghanistan rose to 100.

"Our presence in Afghanistan is vital in preventing it from once again becoming a haven for terrorists who would seek to threaten the UK," Ainsworth said.

Despite the billions of dollars being spent on removing the threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, their influence continues to extend throughout the world.

A deadly reminder of al Qaeda’s capability in Iraq came earlier this week as a series of car bombs killed 127 and injured 448 in Iraq. A statement claiming responsibility, reportedly from the Islamic State of Iraq, was published on an al Qaeda supporter Web site on Thursday.

Today it was announced that that five U.S. Muslim students have been arrested in Pakistan over possible links to terrorism.

And last week, 19 people were killed by a suicide bomber in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The attack is believed to be the work of militant Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab – thought to have strong ties to al Qaeda.

Al-Shabaab is thought to have recruited members from other parts of Africa including Tanzania and Kenya as well as from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

With al Qaeda gaining a foothold in countries around the world, is it time the U.S. government started diverting more resources to closing down cells prospering outside Afghanistan?

Does the spread of al Qaeda show that coalition forces are achieving their aims and forcing them out of Afghanistan. Or is this an never-ending battle? Can al Qaeda really ever be defeated or are we locked into a permanent war disrupting their activities wherever they emerge? Send us your thoughts.

Filed under:  General