Putin’s Propaganda Highlights Need for Public Diplomacy

Boston Globe | Jul 28, 2014

Over the last six months, the Russian propaganda machine has pursued a two-pronged strategy toward its domestic audience.  Russia’s propaganda effort also has a global dimension.  How should the US government respond?

China Poised to Pass U.S. as Top Business-Travel Market

Bloomberg | Jul 28, 2014

China is poised to displace the U.S. as the world’s biggest business-travel market by 2016, aided by accelerating export growth and slowing inflation.  In China, the increasing pace of exports since mid-2013, consumer prices running below government targets and nominal wage gains that support more spending and profit growth are contributing to an expansion in the market. 

Social Media Spreads Messages of Israel-Hamas Conflict

USA Today | Jul 28, 2014

The bruising battle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has carved out a bloody new front in social media — one that has bypassed traditional news outlets and burned a straight path toward advocates on all sides.

China’s Navy Shows Off Massage Techniques in Soft-Power Display

Bloomberg | Jul 28, 2014

On a Chinese hospital ship off Hawaii, crew members demonstrate traditional massage techniques to U.S. sailors. The mood is one of collegiality, even after China opted out of Japan-led humanitarian drills at the world’s largest international naval exercise.

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.

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