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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 – Andrew Lloyd Webber

March 8th, 2010
11:45 AM ET

No name is more associated with modern musical than that of Andrew Lloyd Webber. The legendary English composer started out young, writing music at the age of six and publishing his first piece at the age of nine.

What do you want to ask Andrew Lloyd Webber?

What do you want to ask Andrew Lloyd Webber?

Since then he  has composed 13 musicals, including such runaway international successes such as "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera," "Jesus Christ Superstar," and "Cats."

His most successful ballads including "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina" and "Memories" have become enormous successes in their own right, selling millions of copies around the world. His international prize haul includes Tony awards, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Now the much-anticipated continuation of  "Phantom of the Opera" is set to open in London’s West End. The production, entitled "Love Never Dies," has already gotten much buzz around the world with some of Asia's leading vocalists including Sumi Jo from Korea, China’s Zhang Liping and Ayaka Hirahara from Japan covering versions of the title musical's title track.

The story is set a decade after the end of "Phantom" and sees female protagonist Christine  anonymously invited to perform at Phantasma, a new attraction in Coney Island, unaware just who has arranged her appearance…

Want to find out what happens next? Now is your chance to quiz Andrew Lloyd Webber. From where does he get his ideas? What is his favorite musical? What inspired this latest work?

Post your questions and we'll put them to Andrew. And please let us know from where you are writing.

Are body scanners a necessary invasion of privacy?

March 3rd, 2010
03:06 PM ET

(CNN) - The first of 150 new full-body scanners are being installed at two of the busiest airports in the United States: Boston Logan and Chicago O'Hare.

Do you approve of the use of body scanners at airports?

Do you approve of the use of body scanners at airports?

The move comes after many international airports, including several in Europe,  introduced the machines as an added security precaution. Their introduction  followed the alleged attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a flight bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.

The scanning machines, which feature in Paula Newton's report for CNN, take a near-naked full-body image to reveal if a passenger has anything hidden underneath his or her clothes. Supporters of the devices believe they are a vital tool for security agencies in the fight against terrorism and will deter attacks by terrorists.

But the machines are also controversial. The American Civil Liberties Union has denounced them as a "virtual strip search," while Pope Benedict XVI has stressed the importance of protecting the "integrity" of travelers as they pass through airports.

But what do you think? Are body scanners an invasion of privacy? Or are they a vital tool to protect against attacks on air passengers? Have you yourself been body scanned? What was the experience like?

Leave your comments below and we'll use some of them on Connect the World tonight at 9GMT. And please let us know from where you are writing.

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Friday's Connector: KISS

March 1st, 2010
08:01 PM ET

Rock legends KISS have sold more than 80 million album sales worldwide, making them one of the most iconic bands on the planet.

Becky Anderson with Gene Simmons and Eric Singer of Kiss

Founded in New York City in 1972, the distinctive foursome and their unique brand of rock showmanship have unleashed 19 albums during their astounding 38-year career.

With hits like "Hotter Than Hell" and "God of Thunder," KISS have carved a niche in the rock landscape thanks to incendiary performances and stadium-shaking anthems.

This summer the band will plough their way across Europe, promoting their latest album "Sonic Boom," which was released last year.

And now it's your chance to ask KISS your questions.

What does it take to become a rock legend? Why have KISS been together for so long? And just how long does it take to apply all that makeup?

Post your questions below and we'll serve them up to KISS on Connect The World on Friday. And please let us know from where you are writing.

Mumbai – one year on from the attacks

November 25th, 2009
06:30 PM ET

On the streets at the time, the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai left one feeling that the city would never be the same. India would not be the same. 

Mourners paint artwork on a kilometer-long wall of tribute dedicated to the victims of the attacks.

Mourners paint artwork on a kilometer-long wall of tribute dedicated to the victims of the attacks.

A common mood sloshed through every alley, a rising, indignant anger: enough was enough, something needed to change. Commentators called the attacks India’s 9/11: a time when the world stopped still, shocked at the horrors of humanity.

I’ve always believed the 9/11 analogy was not entirely correct. Unlike the U.S., India has had a long history of terrorism, random attacks engineered by a variety of adversaries and carried out by often faceless operatives.

In 2008 itself there were attacks in the cities of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Guwahati, and more. But what was truly ominous about comparing the Mumbai attacks to New York’s in 2001 was the expectation of a comparable government response.

A few days after the attacks I went with a CNN crew to a protest rally in Mumbai. Tens of thousands of Mumbaikars attended, venting their anger. Some of it was against politicians; most of it was against Pakistan. The mob was made up of young college students and professionals. Emboldened by their numbers, they demanded action. “Galli galli mein shor hai, Pakistan chor hai!” they shouted, roughly translating to: On every street, people are crying: Pakistan is a rogue country! On televisions, countless pundits insisted that this was India’s 9/11. And they expected a matching response from the government – against Pakistan.

Indian investigators have since laid out a mountain of evidence showing the attackers came from across the border, from the Pakistani province of Punjab. But it wasn’t clear who the anger in India was directed at: the Pakistan government and its inability (or in the protestors’ minds, unwillingness, or worse) to rein in the terrorists, or whether it was directed at the terrorists themselves who happened to be Pakistani. But there is no doubt that much diplomatic ire has been directed at Islamabad for failing to crack down on militants suspected of attacks in India. Finally today, one year later, Pakistan has charged seven men over the Mumbai attacks; they allegedly belong to the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba militant group.

A year on, where does India stand?

Given the immense internal pressure, it’s a marvel that the government rejected the notion of a military response. Elections were afoot; there was political mileage to be made. And yet by and large the public hysteria died down after a while. But India is right in pushing Pakistan to get its house in order.

Here’s a 9/11 analogy that works better: the main two hotels under attack in Mumbai – the Oberoi and the Taj – were symbolically the twin towers of Mumbai’s upper-class fabric.

But in 2009, the real terror story in India has been playing out far away from the corridors of finance, glitz, and glamor. Maoist rebels today operate in 223 districts, spread out across one-third of the country. The area is called the ‘Red Corridor’, where the rebels, known as Naxalites, routinely attack symbols of power. They orchestrate bombings, robberies, kidnappings, and massacres. The South Asia Terrorism Portal’s data shows these rebels have been responsible for 800+ civilians deaths so far this year – more than four times as many as those killed in the Mumbai attacks.

One year on, perhaps the greatest lesson to take away from the Mumbai attacks is this: defeat or victory can't be gauged by the success of a terror attack; it is determined by the response. In the end, India reacted responsibly to Mumbai – by pushing for investigations and justice, and by avoiding a reckless military response. It's important to recognize that combatting terrorism - be it from an internal or external source - requires a more nuanced approach than just fighting fire with fire.

Connector of the Day: Daoud Sediqi

November 22nd, 2009
03:32 PM ET

Daoud Sediqi is the former presenter of 'Afghan Star,' his country's version of the 'Pop Idol' TV talent show.

Send your questions for Daoud Sediqi.

Send your questions for Daoud Sediqi.

Having been the show's host for its first four seasons, he is one of the most recognized names in the Afghani media.

A British documentary film about 'Afghan Star' has won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S..

The talent show and documentary have turned Mr Sediqi into an overnight celebrity. But his new-found fame has also brought him numerous death threats.

The Taliban and its followers do not agree with the cultural values of the show - which sees women dancing and singing, and promotes popular culture and democracy.

Since traveling to the U.S. to promote the documentary, Sediqi has chosen not to return to Afghanistan, and rumors suggest that he is attempting to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Send your questions for Sediqi below and we'll put the best of them to him on Monday's show.

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