‘Afrobian’: Moroccan Singer Talks About Merging Arabian, African Musical Traditions

Al Arabiya News | Sep 1, 2014

In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News, Moroccan singer Ahmed Soultan discusses his own musical genre which he had dubbed “Afrobian,” a merger of African and Arabian musical traditions.  Soultan believes that the merging of African musical instruments and Arabian melodies allow him to carve out his own musical identity and that “Afrobian,” like other forms of music, can transcend physical and cultural boundaries. 

Tourists are Pouring Back to Mexican Beaches After a Security Image Facelift

Global Post | Sep 1, 2014

The total number of tourists in Mexico hit a record in the first half of the year, with more than 14 million foreigners touching down, almost 20 percent more compared to last year, the Tourism Department said.  The spike in visitors, especially Americans, comes after several years of stagnation in the travel sector here amid a slow global economic recovery and fears of gory cartel violence.

Making Cultural Exchange Flourish Takes Time

China Daily | Sep 1, 2014

Cultural cooperation and exchanges between China and the US will play an increasingly important role in facilitating better understanding and fostering friendship between people in the two counties.  The first thing on the to-do list for members of China's culture industry who want to tap into the US market should be to really understand the needs and wants of US audiences and adjust their works accordingly.

UN Peacekeepers Abducted on Golan Heights are ‘Pictured on Social Media’

Euronews | Sep 1, 2014

Photographs purportedly showing more than 40 UN peacekeepers seized by Islamist militants on Syria’s side of the Golan Heights – along with their identity cards – have been posted on social media.  The al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front says the captives, all from Fiji, were detained on Thursday because their UN mission was helping Syria’s government and had ignored the suffering of its people. It says they are being treated well.

Ukraine: The Struggle Between Hard and Soft Power

CNBC | Sep 1, 2014

Soft power – using diplomacy, co-operation and the powers of attraction rather than coercion – has become a more potent force in international relations over recent decades. During the Ukrainian crisis, Germany, with its conciliatory, sanctions-focused approach, has been a leading exponent of the approach. Yet faced with what looks increasingly like the use of "hard power" by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil, its limits are being tested.

Former Charlottean David Snepp Helps Afghans Resettle

Charlotte Observer | Sep 1, 2014

A native Charlottean and former broadcaster, Snepp has started a nonprofit called Silk Road Leadership to help many resettle in the United States. “From my perspective, a nation has a responsibility to take care of those who risked their lives for our country,” says Snepp, 53. “Giving them a visa is not enough. We’re trying to provide a softer landing … to help them become more productive citizens here in the U.S.” 

Eritrea: High Level Diplomatic Approach in Finland

Geeska Afrika Online | Sep 1, 2014

A high level Eritrean delegation led by Mr. Osman Saleh, Foreign Minister, conducted working visit to Finland from 25 to 30 August 2014. In the course of its visit the delegation has met with Foreign Minister MR. Erkki Tumoioja and Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Minister of International Development Cooperation and discussed bilateral and regional issues especially with regards educational cooperation and in the development of higher learning and vocational education.

PR firm for Putin’s Russia Now Walking a Fine Line

CNBC | Sep 1, 2014

In 2006, executives from the public relations firm Ketchum flew to Moscow to secure an account that has since been worth tens of millions of dollars. President Vladimir Putin of Russia had hired Ketchum to provide advice on public relations before the nation hosted the Group of 8 meeting in St. Petersburg. At the time, Mr. Putin "cared a great deal about what other leaders, especially presidents, thought about him," said Michael A. McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Russia who now teaches at Stanford.

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