Cellphones for Women in Developing Nations Aid Ascent From Poverty

The New York Times | Apr 1, 2015

In ways big and small, life without access to financial services is more difficult, expensive and dangerous. It constrains a woman’s ability to plan for her family’s future. At the community level, it traps households in cycles of poverty. More broadly, it limits the economic growth potential of developing countries.

Lee Kuan Yew and the Middle East

CPD Blog | Apr 1, 2015

Much of the Western news coverage of the death of Lee Kuan Yew has been characterized by grudging admiration for the rise of Singapore and tut-tutting about Lee’s autocratic style. The subtext is that anyone who fails to embrace Jeffersonian democracy as the ideal political system is unworthy of praise.

Saudi-Caused Chaos Continues in Yemen

Al-Monitor | Apr 1, 2015

Ever since the fall of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2014 in the hands of the Houthis, Yemen has been fighting a regional conflict while its political situation has reached a deadlock; the head of state and the prime minister resigned Jan. 22 amid complete failure to reach a domestic settlement as the Houthis continue to expand militarily.

China And Japan Are At It Again: This Time, The Fight is Over Cherry Blossoms

The Washington Post | Apr 1, 2015

More than a century ago, Japanese authorities gifted Washington 3,000 cherry treesto brighten up the city's swampy Tidal Basin. It's still one of the most effective (and affecting) acts of public diplomacy to this day.

UN Pulls Its International Staff Out of Yemen

VOA | Apr 1, 2015

The United Nations said Tuesday that the last of its international staffers had left Yemen, while the U.N. human rights chief warned that the country was on the verge of a "total collapse."U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said the 13 remaining international staffers had been withdrawn and would return when "circumstances permit."

U.S. Commits $504 Million For Syrian Aid, Leads Pledges At International Conference

Huffington Post | Apr 1, 2015

The United States pledged $507 million in humanitarian aid at an international donors' conference for Syria on Tuesday as the United Nations issued an appeal for $8.4 billion in commitments this year — the organization's largest appeal yet for the war-ravaged country.

U.S. Dance Troupes to Tour Overseas

The New York Times | Apr 1, 2015

On Tuesday, the Limón company was announced as one of three companies selected for the fifth iteration of DanceMotion USA, an initiative of the State Department, produced in partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Joining the Limón company are Dance Heginbotham and Bodytraffic, a Los Angeles troupe.

In Iran Nuke Talks, France Stands Strong, US Wavers

The Hill | Apr 1, 2015

Today France and the United States are engaged on the same side of a political conflict with Tehran, but contrary to historic perception of both countries, it is the U.S. that has proven quickest to surrender the cause. France has earned the reputation for steadfastness and the toughest stance of all six powers sitting across the table from the Iran mullahs.

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