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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.

Tuesday's Connector: Alastair Campbell

May 26th, 2010
05:04 PM ET

Alastair Campbell is the highest profile press secretary that Britain’s ever seen.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/26/campbell.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Alastair Campbell answers your questions."]

Tony Blair made Campbell his official spokesman right after winning the Labour leadership battle in 1994. For the decade in government, Campbell was Blair’s right hand man.

He was even called to testify at the Iraq Inquiry about Blair’s decision to invade.

His cunning campaigning led the Labour party to a landslide election win in 1997 and again in 2001, by which time Campbell was the government’s director of communications.

Campbell came a long way to reach the top.

The son of a Scottish vet, his first job was writing pornographic stories for men’s magazine Forum.

He crossed over to more serious subject matter as a correspondent for "The Daily Mirror," eventually rising to political editor.

As the only major Labour backer, "The Daily Mirror" gave Campbell the perfect chance to build up party contacts.

Despite quitting involvement in the government in 2003, Campbell just couldn’t keep away from politics.

He published a tell-all diary about his time in office called "The Blair Years" in 2007 and campaigned for the Labour party in the latest general election.

Next month, Campbell will come out with a new, unedited version of his life in the Labour party from 1994 to 1997 in a new book.

We want to know what you think so send in your questions to the sultan of spin, Alastair Campbell.

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

Should sex education be taught in kindergarten?

May 26th, 2010
03:11 PM ET

Kindergarten school children in parts of Indonesia are being taught sex education lessons in a bid to warn them of the dangers of sexual abuse, but the move is being criticized by some within the country.

Teachers armed with dolls in a handful of schools are tackling a previously taboo subject in the world's largest Muslim country.

The lessons are part of a pilot program that started back in 2006 which is a joint effort between the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association and The World Population Fund.

The program aims to break social taboos in Indonesian culture, but most importantly, to let children know when they are being approached by a sexual predator, according to Lucy Henry from the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association.

However, the program has had its fair share of controversy.

"Our early days were filled with people protesting," Henry told CNN.

"They resisted because they didn't know what kind of a program this is, there was even a case when they threatened our teacher with knives."

There are no accurate statistics on sexual harassment in the country, but children from poorer areas who tend to roam the streets are easier victims according to Henry.

However, Henry said the lessons are paying off.

"We're seeing students respecting their bodies and the girls have more courage to speak to the boys and to bluntly tell them if there's something they don't like," Henry said.

We want to know what you think.

Should sex education be taught in kindergartens? Do you think that it might be too young?


Filed under:  General

Wednesday's Connector – Saif Gadhafi

May 24th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Saif Gadhafi is the son of controversial Libyan president, Moammar Gadhafi.

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caption="Saif Gadhafi answers your questions."]

An architect, he graduated from the London School of Economics with a PhD in 2009.

Despite occupying no official position in the government of Libya, Saif is seen as a powerful player both in the country and abroad. He has performed in numerous public relations and diplomatic roles for his father.  Although he has been mentioned as a possible successor to his father, he says that Libya's future lies in direct democracy.

He also played a central role in efforts to release the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, even accompanying the terminally ill Megrahi back to Tripoli when he was released on compassionate grounds.

Today he runs the Gadafi International Charity and Development Foundation which aims to protect human rights, develop civil society and promote charitable work.

Tuesday's Connector: Kelly Rowland

May 20th, 2010
07:42 PM ET

Singer Kelly Rowland may have been part of one of the most successful girl bands of the 20th century, but that hasn't stopped her from carving out her own bit of fame as a solo artist.

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caption="Kelly Rowland is your Connector of the Day."]

The 29-year-old American singer was born as Kelendria Trene Rowland and made her name as one of the founding members of the girl group, "Destiny's Child".

The group signed with Columbia Records in 1997 and recorded their first breakthrough single called "Killing Time" which was on the hit film "Men in Black."

But it wasn't really until their second album that the group became a household name - their song "Say My Name" won the Grammy award for best R & B song by a group as well as the best R & B song in 2001.

As the group continued to gain worldwide success, Rowland branched out into solo projects and began recording a range of songs as an individual artist.

While Rowland has continued her musical success, the singer has also devoted a large portion of her time to humanitarian and social causes.

Rowland is heavily involved in the 1Goal: Education for all, World Cup campaign that is aiming to bring education to children around the world.

Estimates say that there are more than 72 million children around the world without the opportunity to go to school.

Does advertising for abortion on TV cross the line?

May 20th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

A British non-profit group says it plans to air the country's first TV ad for abortion services, drawing criticism
from at least one Catholic group.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/20/abortion.art.jpg caption="Does advertising for abortion on TV go too far?"]

The organization, Marie Stopes International, will air its first commercial next week in what is being described as an initial attempt of British Television to "confront the taboo" of abortion.

The commercial will direct viewers to a telephone help line which, Marie Stopes claims will offer advice on getting an abortion.

"Clearly there are hundreds of thousands of women who want and need sexual health information and advice, and access to services," Marie Stopes International's CEO Dana Hovig said.

"Last year alone we received 350,000 calls to our 24 hour help line."

There has however been strong opposition to the commercial from anti-abortion activists.

The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child told the Independent newspaper that they would try every means to stop the broadcast.

"Marie Stopes may claim to be a non-profit organisation, but they have a financial interest in drumming up demand for abortion. We are taking advice regarding the legality of the scheduled advertisement," a spokesperson said.

We want to know what you think.

Do you think advertising for abortions or help lines on television crosses the line?

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


Filed under:  General
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