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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.

Thursday's Connector of the Day – Nadya Suleman

December 15th, 2009
04:38 PM ET

Nadya Suleman created headlines around the world when she gave birth to eight healthy babies in January 2009 – the second set of octuplets to be born alive in the U.S..

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/15/suleman.art.jpg caption="Nadya Suleman aka 'Octomom' – Mother of the Year? Or too many children?."]

Already a mother to six children, Suleman’s brood now totals fourteen kids, all of whom were conceived via IVF after sperm donation by the same friend.

The 33-year-old single mother, nicknamed “octomom,” was unemployed at the time and living with her parents.

News of the octuplets caused an international media frenzy. The public reaction towards Suleman was suspicious and critical, and even included death threats. Many expressed concern that Suleman's decision to have so many children was a burden to US taxpayers via public support.

But Suleman argues that her family is self-sufficient. She raises funds to pay for her children's upbringing by selling their appearances in the media. Raising up to $250 per day per child for participation in reality television and magazine photo shoots – this money helps to pay the food bills, nanny rates, and for a 4-bedroom house worth over $800,000.

In August an Orange County court ruled that a guardian must monitor the money Suleman's children receive from various media projects. This ruling has since been overturned and the case continues.

To talk about what it’s like to get through 250 nappies in a week, how she feeds 14 mouths, and copes with intense media scrutiny, Nadya Suleman is our connector of the day on Thursday. Send your questions for her here, and we’ll put a selection to her on the show.

Will air travel ever be green?

December 15th, 2009
12:19 PM ET

Boeing’s latest, most environmentally-friendly plane ever, the 787 Dreamliner, is finally due to take off tonight on its maiden flight after two years of delays. 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/15/dreamliner.art.jpg = "After two years of delays Boeing’s Dreamliner is finally about to take off. "]

Boeing says the mid-size Dreamliner – the company’s first new model in more than a decade – will use 20 percent less fuel than today’s airplanes.

About half of the new aircraft is made of lightweight, composite materials – such as carbon, fiber-reinforced resin – making it a lot more fuel-efficient, the company says.

Boeing has staked its reputation on claims the aircraft’s lighter, faster body will save airlines millions in fuel costs, allowing passengers to pay less – and even feel better when they land. The company says the new material will hold up much better than traditional aluminium – and is kinder to the environment.

The new airplane is being unveiled just as the contentious two-week climate change summit currently taking place in Copenhagen plays out.

Thousands of demonstrators demanded countries take meaningful action against climate change this weekend.

On Monday, though, the conference was suspended for several hours when African nations and others walked out of the international meeting, accusing richer countries of trying to get out of their obligations to cut carbon emissions.

Do you believe so-called “green travel” by plane is possible? And that Boeing is actually blazing a trail here with its new, more fuel-efficient plane?

Or is travelling by air simply contrary to being green? And is limiting air travel the only way to go if you really care about the environment?

Tell us your thoughts. And watch the Dreamliner’s maiden flight tonight on Connect the World at 2100 GMT, 2200 CET.

Filed under:  General