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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.

Friday's Connector: Justin Bieber

April 30th, 2010
01:45 PM ET

Talk about getting your big break - in less than one year 16-year-old Justin Bieber went from uploading home-made music videos on YouTube to becoming the world's biggest teen pop star.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/30/justin.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Justin Bieber is your Connector of the Day."]

The Canadian who was born in Stratford, Ontario taught himself how to play the guitar, piano and trumpet from an early age and in early 2007 he placed second during a singing competition where he sang Ne-Yo's "So Sick".

Bieber began uploading his singing videos on YouTube and was soon discovered by music manager Scooter Braun.

Soon after being discovered by Braun, Bieber was a hot commodity in the music world and soon Usher and Justin Timberlake were in competition to have him signed.

Bieber eventually chose to work with Usher and with the help of the r&b artist, released his first single in July of 2009 titled "One Time".

The song was certified platinum in Canada and the United States and reached gold status in Australia and New Zealand.

His first album called "My World" was an instant hit and Bieber has even personally performed for people including President Barack Obama.

In only a short time, Bieber has left his mark on the pop culture landscape - his name is constantly one of the most popular topics on Twitter and his public appearances have been marred by thousands of screaming fans who sometimes get a bit out of control.

Final UK debate coverage on CNN

April 28th, 2010
06:32 PM ET

On Thursday, the leaders of the three main parties in Britain take part in a crucial televised election debate on the economy. It will be the final debate before the May 6 election.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/29/debate4.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Who will make it to No 10 Downing street?"]

The race has narrowed after nearly three weeks of campaigning and Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg are locked in a dead heat.

Labour leader Gordon Brown though is still very much in the race and is only trailing a few points behind in opinion polls.

However, after Brown's 'bigot' gaffe on Wednesday, it is unclear how that will affect him at the polls.

We want to know what you think of the debate. Who are the winners and losers? Who do you think will win the general election next week?

Should there be a full ban on off-shore drilling?

April 28th, 2010
11:59 AM ET

The U.S. Coast Guard is dealing with potentially one of the worst environmental disasters in history as a large oil slick drifts into ecologically sensitive areas off the coast of Louisiana .

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/28/oil.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="One of the many dangers of off shore drilling."]

Coast Guard officials are even considering setting the massive 80 mile oil slick on fire to try and contain some of the damage and prevent the crude oil from spreading.

Oil is still leaking at a rate of about 42,000 gallons a day from the well, located some 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. A drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded and sank at the site last week.

BP, the well's owner, has been trying to shut off the well using eight remote-controlled submarines, but has had no luck up to this point.

"If we don't secure the well, this could be one of the most serious oil spills in U.S. history," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, head of a joint response task force, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard stressed it would never set the entire spill on fire at once. It would instead use a 500-foot-long, flame-retardant boom to gather some of the oil and then burn only the crude inside its perimeter, according to spokeswoman Lt. Sue Kerver.

This disaster is only weeks after President Barack Obama announced that he would open up parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to oil and natural gas drilling.

The plan includes lifting a 20-year ban on drilling off the Virginia coastline as well as conducting seismic tests to test the viability of off-shore drilling locations in parts of the Atlantic and Gulf.

We want to know what you think.

In light of the latest disaster in the Gulf of Mexio that has the potential to become the one of the worst environmental disasters, should off-shore drilling be completely banned? What steps should be taken to make sure an oil spill like this doesn't happen again?

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General

Is China the world's top economic superpower?

April 27th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

The axis of the automotive world has shifted east.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/27/china.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="How powerful has China become?"]

Forget Detroit and the troubles that have beleaguered U.S. automakers. While the global auto market has contracted through the financial crisis, vehicle sales in China have soared - with Chinese sales eclipsing the U.S. as the world's top auto market for the first time.

The importance of China to global automakers is evident at Auto China 2010 in Beijing. The show, which runs through May 2, is the stage from which automakers from Japan, North America, Europe and China have unveiled 89 new models.

The World Bank has also just agreed to increase the voting power of China, giving it more clout than the major European powers like Germany, France and the United Kingdom individually.

In terms of voting power, China has a 4.42 percent, just behind the United States and Japan.

While many western countries struggle to recover after the recession, China has been able to continually post startling growth rates.

Early last year, China posted a gross domestic product growth of 8.7 percent.

We want to know what you think.

Has China become the world's main economic superpower?

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General

Monday's Connector: The Jonas Brothers

April 26th, 2010
03:20 PM ET

The Jonas Brothers are one of the biggest pop band phenomenons in recent memory and their mix of boyish good looks and upbeat music have catapulted the group to super star status.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/23/jonas.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="The Jonas Brothers are your Connectors of the Day."]

The band is made up of three brothers - Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas - all of who have become teenage heart-throbs for millions of screaming girls.

The group first gained popularity on the Disney network and in the summer of 2008, they starred in their very own Disney movie called "Camp Rock".

They have already released four albums in a relatively short amount of time - their first one being "It's About Time" from 2005. .

The brothers have also raised millions of dollars for their charity, Change for the Children Foundation.

The band stated that they started "the Change for the Children Foundation to support programs that motivate and inspire children to face adversity with confidence, determination and a will to succeed."

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