Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

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: Vanilla Ice

February 19th, 2010
02:06 PM ET

If you called him by his real name, most people would never know who Robert Van Winkle is– but, if you mention the name Vanilla Ice, that's a different story.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/19/vanilla.blog.gi.jpg caption ="Vanilla Ice is promoting a new single."]

The 90s pop star became the first hip hop artist to ever reach the Billboard number one with his infamous single, "Ice Ice Baby".

Today, he's credited with helping bring hip hop and rap music to a mainstream audience.

Some of his other chart topping singles include "Play that Funky Music" and "Hooked".

Vanilla Ice has also had a string of notable appearances on film. He starred in the 1991 cult classic, "Cool as Ice" and received the Golden Raspberry award for worst new star.

However, after his initial success, Vanilla Ice struggled to keep his life in order because of mounting financial problems and a history of drug abuse.

Vanilla Ice attempted suicide in 1994, but after being revived from a heroin overdose, he pledged to change his lifestyle and get his music career back on track.

Today, the pop star is featured on the debut single of the Irish duo John & Edward.

Here's your chance to ask Vanilla Ice a question.

Does he ever get sick of hearing "Ice Ice Baby"? Maybe you want to know why he has teamed up with a pair of realtiy television stars. Where does he seem music today?

Tuesday's Connector of the Day: Jason Isaacs

February 18th, 2010
06:58 PM ET

Actor Jason Isaacs is probably best known for his role in the Harry Potter series as the evil Lucius Malfoy, but many others will recognize him for his stand-out performances in The Patriot, Event Horizon and Brotherhood.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/18/malfoy.getty.blog.jpg caption ="Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter series."]

The 46 year old was born in Liverpool, England to Jewish parents and only got the acting bug after joining a drama club at his university.

After initially being known as a TV actor in the UK, Isaacs eventually broadened to the big screen, appearing in a number of blockbuster hits including Armageddon.

However, it was his role as the cunning Lucius Malfoy that has made him a household name.

He has been part of the Harry Potter franchise since 2002 and is set to appear in the last chapter of the series which debuts this summer.

Isaacs is also taking back in the Jameson Empire Film Awards that are taking place on 28th March.

He is on the judging panel for one of the categories, the Jameson Done in 60 Seconds Award.

Here's your chance to ask Jason Isaacs a question.

Ask him for an inside look on the filming of the last movie. Do you want to know any interesting secrets about his fellow cast mates?

Maybe you want to know what his favorite Harry Potter film is?

Tune in on Tuesday at 2100 GMT to see if Jason answered your question.

India's e-waste problem

February 18th, 2010
06:29 PM ET

Opinion: Will China Retaliate for the Dalai Lama Visit?

February 18th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Editor's note: Gordon G. Chang is the author of "The Coming Collapse of China." He writes a weekly column at Forbes.com.

President Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama later today. Beijing, which has demanded cancellation of the event, has warned that it could damage already strained ties.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/18/dalailama.blog.gi.jpg caption ="President Obama will meet the Dalai Lama in Washington D.C."]

Many think the Chinese are just bluffing. After all, Beijing's leaders have ranted in the past and not carried through on their threats.

But that was then, and this is now. Now, China's officials are feeling their oats and they are testing the new American president.

Most important, they are in the middle of a succession struggle as the so-called Fourth Generation leadership prepares to give way to the Fifth.

Hu Jintao, China's current leader, is slated to step down in 2012 at the 18th Communist Party Congress. The political maneuvering to succeed him is intensifying, and, as it does so, the country's external polices are becoming volatile.

At this moment, unfortunately, there is little room for compromise on matters involving the United States due in part to Hu's hardline stance.

Therefore, disagreements with Washington have become harder to control. We saw tough language from Beijing over, among other matters, Washington's support for Google in its dispute with China over internet policies, and the recent announcement of arms sales to Taiwan.

China watchers say that there are "stabilizers" in the relationship between China and the United States, and that statement may be true most of the time.

But during periods of increasing tension inside the Communist Party, those mechanisms may not function well. So little disputes can flare quickly. Since December, that is precisely what has been happening.

Many analysts often underplay the fundamental difference in values and outlook between the United States and China. In normal times, officials from both countries have been able to paper over differences and stress common interests. Yet transitions are almost always times of uncertainty, even in the most well-ordered of political systems.

They are especially perilous periods in China's, despite recent advancements in the institutionalization of Communist Party rules. Chinese leaders, in sum, have not been able to eliminate communism's systemic instability.

So look for China to retaliate for President Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. The retaliation may not be immediate, and it may be subtle. But it is sure to happen.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gordon G. Chang.

Posted by

Kabul tries to clean up the streets

February 17th, 2010
05:52 PM ET
« older posts
newer posts »