China Cements Eurasian Trade Routes With Great Silk Road Revival: The Infographic

Zero Hedge | Jul 27, 2014

China has been quietly working to recreate one of the most legendary trade routes, "the Silk Road", linking Africa to the Middle East (Iraq and Iran) to India, to Indonesia and all culminating in Beijing, while at the same time the reverse leg of the route goes to Kazakhstan, Moscow and ultimately, Germany. The purpose: "to enhance political and economic ties with southeast Asia and beyond."

The New Scramble for Africa

Al Jazeera | Jul 27, 2014

The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world's established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs.

European Jews Face Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in Gaza Operation's Wake

Haaretz | Jul 27, 2014

Jews in Europe are facing a rising tide of anti-Semitism, as left-wing, right-wing and Islamic groups take to the streets to protest against Israel's military operation in Gaza.  There has been also been an explosion of anti-Semitic abuse on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

Unconventional Ramadan Camp Draws D.C.-Area Kids

Al Jazeera (America) | Jul 27, 2014

Held for the second time this year, the camp mostly eschews religious practice, except for brief midday prayers. Instead, the emphasis is on traditional Islamic arts and crafts that are not commonly taught in America — including paper marbling, marquetry (wood inlay) and decorative bookbinding — as well as on personal development through community service and leadership workshops.

Germany Seeks US-Style EU Integration

Korea Times | Jul 27, 2014

The German ambassador's lecture was part of an EU public diplomacy program, titled "EU Goes to School" under which the ambassadors visit schools to give presentations about the regional bloc and their home countries to students.

U.S. Moves to Align Student Exchanges With Policy Goals

New York Times | Jul 27, 2014

This summer, 500 Africans studied business, leadership and public management on American campuses as part of a new State Department program.  The Obama administration has hailed the effort, which is part of the larger Young African Leaders Initiative, as a fresh take on public diplomacy.

10,000 Bodies: Inside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Crackdown

Wall Street Journal | Jul 27, 2014

Last year, the Syrian military-police photographer defected to the West. Investigators later gave him the code name Caesar to disguise his identity.  All told, Caesar helped smuggle more than 50,000 pictures out of Syria—his own and many others he downloaded that were taken by other photographers, according to activists working with him.

Nigeria, Levick and the Imperatives of Nation Branding

Sahara Reporters | Jul 27, 2014

Of course, like most countries of the world, Nigeria has her peculiar problems and very serious ones too.  While some of the negative commentaries are true, most Nigerians are actually hardworking, peace loving and friendly people. There's an obvious perception problem that needs to change!

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