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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: John West

March 28th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

For ten years, attorney John West kept a secret about his mother and father from everyone - including his own sisters.

In a memoir called "The Last Goodnights", he reveals for the first time that he helped his terminally ill parents commit suicide - a crime in the state of California, where the deaths took place.

His father, Jolly West, a world renowned psychiatrist was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and was told he only had months to live.

That same year, his wife Kay, a psychologist learned she had Alzheimer's.

In January 1999, West helped his father end his life. Six months later he agreed to help his mother do the same.

Today, West reveals that he still believes he did the right thing.

West is currently in the process of preparing an intense lobbying effort in various state legislatures where issues of patients’ rights, especially Death With Dignity, are being debated and decided.

The Last Goodnights Organization is the support arm for his efforts in this regard.

West also maintains a confidential consulting service, to help people who are facing (or who have already faced) the issues addressed in "The Last Goodnights".

We want to know what you think.

Should people be able to help their loved ones end their life in certain situations? Should assisted suicide be considered a crime?

Please leave your comments and questions below and please remember to tell us where you're writing from.

Join our live chat on Monday at 2000 BST

March 26th, 2010
06:37 PM ET

The Catholic Church scandal is turning out to be one of the most talked about issues and we gave you a chance to join in the debate.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/26/chat.blog.jpg
caption="Join the debate online."]

CNN anchor Fionnuala Sweeney started things off and was joined by guests including singer Sinead O'Connor, Paul Dunbar from Count me Out and Patrick Walsh who was a victim of abuse.

Here's a look at how our chat went.

Filed under:  General

Could daylight saving kill?

March 26th, 2010
01:33 PM ET

Much like travelling over time zones, daylight savings has the ability to seriously disturb our body clocks.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/26/sun.blog.jpg
caption="Do you think daylight savings can kill?"]

The Circadian rhythm comes from a clock in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which tell our body when to go to sleep and when to wake up in the morning.

When sleep patterns are disturbed, the results can be dangerous.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine two years ago suggested heart attacks rise about 5 percent after the spring change.

Data studied over 30 years in Australia suggests there’s even a rise in suicides – especially among men.

Researchers say that small shifts in diurnal rhythms are potentially destabilizing in vulnerable individuals.

We'd like to know what you think.

Have you noticed any significant changes in our body or mood after daylight savings? Do you think moving forward an hour can destabilize your body enough to cause deaths or suicides?

Please leave your comments below and let us know where you're writing from.

Filed under:  General

Is the church scandal being used as a weapon against Pope?

March 25th, 2010
05:57 PM ET

The Catholic Church is continuing to deal with allegations that members of its clergy were involved in child abuse cases stretching back nearly 20 years.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/25/pope.blog.jpg
caption="Has this affected your view of the Catholic Church?"]

Hundreds of allegations of abuse of children by Catholic clergy have come to light in places like Germany, Austria and the Netherlands so far this year.

Ireland has also been badly shaken by widespread reports of child abuse, physical and sexual, by Catholic clergy going back at least seven decades.

In Norway, a former Catholic bishop admitted sexually abusing a minor 20 years ago.

The allegations of abuse have deeply shaken Roman Catholic communities on nearly every continent.

As the Vatican continues to deal with the onslaught of claims, media reports indicated that some senior cardinals believed the entire scandal was a politically motivated one.

Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, told the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano that ""the Pope embodies moral truths that aren't accepted, and the shortcomings and errors of priests are being used as weapons against the church."

"It's not a bishop's fault if one of his priests is stained by grave wrongdoing. And certainly the pontiff is not responsible."

We'd like to know what you think.

Do you believe responsibility should not fall with the pope? Are people using the scandal to destabilize the Pope?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General

Tuesday's Connector: Janis Sharp

March 25th, 2010
01:02 PM ET

She's the mother of Gary McKinnon - a British computer hacker accused of perpetrating the largest military hack of all time.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/25/janis.blog.jpg
caption="Janis Sharp has been leading the fight for her son to remain in the UK."]

Although not yet found guilty, McKinnon has been at the center of an international extradition case that has lasted nearly four years - his mother Janis Sharp has been alongside him every step of the way.

McKinnon was first accused of hacking into a number of U.S. military sites including the Department of Defence, the U.S. Army and NASA in 2001 and 2002.

Authorities claimed that McKinnon deleted important files and accessed classified information and subsequently his actions shut down numerous computer networks as well as costing the government nearly a million dollars to fix the problem.

McKinnon has admitted breaking into computers at NASA and the Pentagon.

While McKinnon is currently in the UK, the U.S. government has been trying for several years to have him extradited.

After legal hearings in 2006, the UK agreed to extradite McKinnon, but his lawyers appealed the decision and the case is still being heard.

One of the key reasons lawyers are fighting McKinnon's extradition is because the 44-year-old has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

People with Asperger syndrome suffer difficulty in social relationships, communication, and social imagination, according to The National Autistic Society in Britain. Asperger syndrome may often include having special interests and becoming anxious if a routine is broken.

McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp has been leading a massive campaign to fight calls for her son's extradition.

There's a Facebook group with over 700,000 members opposed to McKinnon's extradition.

David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, along with Bob Geldof and Chrissie Hynde have also produced a song called "Chicago - Change the World" in support of McKinnon.

Here's your chance to ask the mother of Gary McKinnon a question.

Please post your questions below and remember to include where you're writing from.

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