Australia Raids Thwarted ISIS Beheading Plot

abc News | Sep 18, 2014

The raids involving 800 federal and state police officers — the largest in the country's history — came in response to intelligence that an Islamic State group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. Abbott was asked about reports that the detainees were planning to behead a random person in Sydney.

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine a Chance to Shine

NPR | Sep 18, 2014

The gastronomic fair is part of the Peruvian "food boom" that's put Lima on the map for epicurean excellence,according to The Wall Street Journal and others. The festival has grown from just 30,000 attendees back in its first year, 2008, to an estimated 600,000 this year. Indeed, food may be the country's greatest passion. 

Korean Port City Hopes Asian Games Will Put It on the Map

The New York Times | Sep 18, 2014

For the next two weeks, organizers of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon are hoping the event will keep plenty of people in the port city, if not draw them from the capital. Incheon, about 25 kilometers west of Seoul and home to three million people, is ready to step out of the shadow of its giant neighbor and make a name for itself by hosting Asia’s biggest sporting event starting Friday.

The Big Stick Behind Google’s Soft Power Approach to Europe

Financial Times | Sep 18, 2014

In the US, where rules on the disclosure are stricter, technology groups report far higher spending on lobbying. Google, for example, spent $8.85m in the first half of 2014 alone in the US – nearly four times what it said it spent lobbying the EU for the whole of 2013. Google declined to comment on this article. But its efforts in Europe are part of its “soft power” approach towards influencing policy makers.

On Display in India, China's New Soft Power Tool: its First 'First Lady'

India Today | Sep 17, 2014

When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, by his side will be his glamorous folk singer celebrity wife, Peng Liyuan.  For the Xis, this will be a first visit to India together. For an Indian audience, this will be a first experience of a new - and, some would say, softer - side to China's diplomacy.

India Amb. Lauds Bilateral Cultural Relations with Kuwait

Kuwait News Agency | Sep 17, 2014

India's Ambassador to Kuwait Sunil Jain lauded Tuesday the level of his country's bilateral relations with Kuwait in various fields, particularly in cultural and arts exchange.  The two countries' historic and distinctive relations have contributed in their cultural diversification exchange, which brought Indian and Kuwaiti peoples closer and boosted their bilateral ties. 

Under Secretary Stengel: US in Information 'Battle' with IS, Russia

Voice of America | Sep 17, 2014

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel says that in the face of strong foreign propaganda machines such as Russia and the Islamic State, the U.S. needs to harden its "soft power" with its own participation in the global conversation.

Leonardo DiCaprio Named UN Messenger of Peace

Public Opinion Local News | Sep 17, 2014

Leonardo DiCaprio's movie roles have made him an international star, but his long and little-known commitment to preserving the global environment has led to his new role — as a U.N. Messenger of Peace.  Ban told a news conference that the Dicaprio "is not just one of the world's leading actors" but he has "a longstanding commitment to environmental causes."

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