Television

CNN announces finalists for 'CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute'

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MUMBAI: US news broadcaster CNN has announced the names of 18 finalists for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. This marks the culmination of a five-month audience nomination process through which ordinary people will be recognised for accomplishing extraordinary things.

Hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour, "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will air live globally on CNN/US, CNN International and CNN en Espanol on 6 December.

In its first year of the CNN Heroes initiative, CNN received more than 7,000 nominations from viewers in 80 countries, nominating people from more than 90 countries.

Honorees will be announced at the gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which will include performances from Grammy Award winners Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow and a duet by Grammy Award winner Norah Jones and acclaimed performer-producer Wyclef Jean. Presenters will include Tyra Banks, Glenn Close, Harry Connick, Jr., Rosario Dawson, LL Cool J, Kyra Sedgwick and Jimmy Smits.

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton says, "We are honoured to shine the spotlight on some of the world's lesser known heroes with the help of an esteemed slate of performers and presenters. While other awards programmes venerate those who are already celebrated, we are recognising the unheralded, the ones who accomplish great things without the benefit of recognition."

From May 1 through September, CNN Worldwide has featured everyday heroes across its television networks, digital services and at www.CNN.com/Heroes, encouraging viewers to nominate local heroes they deem deserving of recognition as a CNN Hero. The finalists in each of the six categories include:

* Medical Marvel - American Peter Kithene of Seattle, who founded a clinic in his native Kenya that has provided services to more than 18,000 patients. Las Vegas' Ann McGee of Las Vegas, who started a transportation program to provide free medical flights for families with gravely ill children. India's S.
Ramakrishnan is a quadriplegic man who runs one of India's largest centers for the disabled, serving people from 330 surrounding villages.

* Young Wonder - Canadian Kayla Cornale developed a musical system to improve communications with autistic people. Dallas Jessup produced a video and an online programme designed to teach young women and girls how to escape an attacker. Josh Miller has established a student-run nonprofit group dedicated to motivating high school students of all backgrounds to succeed in school and life.

Fighting For Justice - Pablo Fajardo seeks to force one of the world's largest oil corporations to pay more than $6 billion to clean up toxic waste in the Amazon rain forest. Rangina Hamidi founded a company that enables women in her native Afghanistan to make money from their intricate embroidery skills. Lynwood Hughes started a nonprofit group to help US veterans secure their disability benefits.

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