UNHCR Urges States to Help Avert Bay of Bengal Boat Crisis In Coming Weeks

UNHCR | Aug 28, 2015

UNHCR is calling for urgent action before the end of the monsoon season unleashes a new wave of people leaving on boats from the Bay of Bengal. [...] With the next "sailing season" expected to start in the coming weeks, UNHCR is working with agencies and other partners on an information campaign warning potential travelers of the risks of getting on smugglers' boats.

European View of American Soft Power

Desert News | Aug 28, 2015

Let’s move away from these products and focus on how soft power actually incorporates ethical standards of behavior and important societal norms that resonate with others in the world. These fundamental norms should not surprise us: liberal ideas of individualism, economic incentives, democracy and human rights. Implementing these liberal values over many decades has led the U.S. to our dominant global economic and political position.

Latin Concert at PAC to Aid Sister Cities Program

SCV News | Aug 28, 2015

The Santa Clarita Sister Cities Program is a proud member of Sister Cities International (SCI), a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network creating and strengthening partnerships between U.S. and international communities in an effort to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate economic development. Currently, the City of Santa Clarita has international Sister Cities in Tena, Ecuador and Sariaya, Philippines.

A Brief History of Panda Diplomacy

New York Times | Aug 28, 2015

Two musk oxen for a pair of giant pandas. Who would make that trade? The Chinese did, when President Richard M. Nixon was on his world-changing trip to China in 1972. [...] Panda diplomacy has had a long history, but before Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing arrived in the United States (not long after Nixon returned from his trip), there hadn’t been a giant panda here for more than 20 years.

Soft Power Outage

The Asian Age | Aug 27, 2015

A comprehensive new ranking of countries labelled “Soft Power 30” by a London-based political consultancy, Portland Communications, carries a rude awakening for India. We are nowhere when it comes to being attractive and influential in the world, falling outside the top 30 nations for universally liked culture, widely admired political values and positively engaged foreign policy.

Egypt Launches English Blog to Counter 'Inaccurate Reports' by Foreign Media

The Guardian | Aug 27, 2015

Egypt has launched a new English blog to “enhance its communication with the world” and to address “inaccurate” reports about the country in foreign media. Launched this week under the name Egypt MFA Blog: Egypt Connects, the blog aims to create an “informal platform” for those interested in the country’s foreign policy, according to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. 

Who’s Doing the Talking on Twitter?

The Atlantic | Aug 27, 2015

The future of Twitter is really the future of the global town square—an answer to the question of whether social media can really offer a friction-less, unfiltered forum for real-time conversation across countries and cultures, or whether those conversations will increasingly occur less visibly and more narrowly. 

Newbury Scouts Take a Trip to Uganda

Newbury Today | Aug 27, 2015

An intrepid group of seven Explorer Scouts from the Newbury and Kennet district have just returned from a successful trip to Uganda where they spent 18 days helping to build and refurbish schools in Butagaya and Iwololo. The project was undertaken in partnership with charity Soft Power Education, which works with communities in Uganda to improve their quality of life through education.

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