China’s New Identity Crisis

Time | Sep 30, 2014

On the surface, the turmoil in Hong Kong is caused by Beijing’s decision regarding general elections. In reality, the deep sources of the conflict are not so different from the recent large-scale outbreaks of social tensions in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan.

Hamas Drops Back to Nearly Even With Fatah in Poll of Palestinians

Slate | Sep 30, 2014

After surging during a 50-day war with Israel, Hamas' popularity among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank has fallen back and is now nearly even with support for the more moderate Fatah party, a new poll shows. 

Meet Share America, the U.S. State Department’s Upworthy Clone

Washington Post | Sep 30, 2014

What Share America is serving up is bite-sized nuggets of video, photos and text, all optimized to be as shareable as possible on the Web. The goal is to feed content aligned with stated American values -- "democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society," reads the site -- in the ever-hungry maw of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.

4,000 Nigerians Benefit from US Exchange Programs

Nigerian Tribune | Sep 30, 2014

The Public Diplomacy Officer at the United States Consulate-General in Lagos, Mrs Rhonda Watson, said on Monday that no fewer than  4,000 Nigerians had,  so far, benefited from various US cultural exchange programs in the past 20 years. Watson told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such Nigerians had benefited from the US Full Bright, Hubert Humphrey Programs and the International Visitor Leadership Program.

The Thai Government Says There is Only One Proper Way to Make Green Curry

Quartz | Sep 30, 2014

The wonderfully named Thai Delicious Committee, a Thai-government-sponsored agency, has developed a machine that can supposedly distinguish genuine green curry from inferior imitations of the country’s classic dish. The existence of an officially sanctioned Thai green curry recipe, not to mention a machine programmed to robotically taste it, is but one example of Thailand’s ongoing efforts in culinary diplomacy.

Young Malaysian Diplomats Tour Australia's Parliament House

The Star Online | Sep 30, 2014

With the shared history of Australia and Malaysia stretching back to World War II, it is hardly coincidental that 16 young Malaysian diplomats were sent for an educational visit to Australia as they complete the last leg of their studies at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR). Parliament House in Canberra has recently witnessed many occasions that demonstrate the close cooperation between the two nations.

Breaking Bread for Peace: Conflict Kitchen and Cultural Food Diplomacy

Huffington Post | Sep 30, 2014

Food diplomacy initiatives are increasingly being recognized as a successful means to open up peace dialogue as a result of our increasingly cosmopolitan palettes. Food is one of the oldest forms of exchange, with yet untapped recognition to deliver social conflict transformation. With this in mind, International Alert's Conflict Kitchen London opens up a new avenue to pursue peace dialogue by taking people on a tantalizing journey exploring new culinary experiences.

New Center to Strengthen China's Soft Power

Shanghai Daily | Sep 29, 2014

Peking University has formed a research center dedicated to national "soft power," aiming to help the government spread Chinese culture and values abroad.  "Cultural soft power is beginning to offer strong support for the rise of China. The country must enhance its cultural strength in order to dominate the global contest for soft power."

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