Nepal Has Powerful Friends in High Places: India and China

Bloomberg | Apr 27, 2015

After the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that flattened parts of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Saturday and unleashed avalanches on Mount Everest, India and China barely missed a beat. Within hours of the disaster, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dispatched military aircraft carrying workers, medicines and blankets.

Nomination of Gay Ambassador Vexes Vatican

Toronto Star | Apr 27, 2015

Pope Francis made history when he said, of being gay: “Who am I to judge?” Now close Vatican-watchers say the pope is in a complex diplomatic spot in the case of a gay man France has nominated to be ambassador to the Holy See. France nominated Laurent Stefanini in January, but so far the Vatican hasn’t accepted the appointment. 

White House Takes Cybersecurity Pitch to Silicon Valley

The New York Times | Apr 27, 2015

President Obama’s newly installed defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, toured Silicon Valley last week to announce a new military strategy for computer conflict, starting the latest Pentagon effort to invest in promising start-ups and to meet with engineers whose talent he declared the Pentagon desperately needed in fending off the nation’s adversaries.

For Japan's Prime Minister, U.S. Visit A Chance To Elevate Image

WABE | Apr 27, 2015

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is in the U.S. this week for a tightly packed visit that will focus largely on the strong ties between the U.S. and its closest Asian ally. (...)This visit should help with the latter goal as Abe will have a summit with Obama and a state dinner at the White House with 300 guests. Image is important to the Abe administration, and it'll be on display during this U.S. visit, says Shihoko Goto, an Asia specialist with the Woodrow Wilson Center. 

Exclusive: First Diplomat for LGBT Rights Speaks Out

USA Today | Apr 26, 2015

Becoming a father was a prime motivator for Randy Berry to accept what's sure to be a controversial new role at the State Department. Berry, 50, is the U.S. special envoy for the human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons, the first such post ever created by a nation, according to the State Department. In that trailblazing role, he said he has an opportunity to help his two children grow up in a world more accepting than the one he was born into.

Nepal Earthquake Poses Challenge to International Aid Agencies

The New York Times | Apr 26, 2015

International aid agencies and governments mobilized on Sunday to respond to the earthquake in Nepal, saying they faced challenges in getting assistance to the country and distributing it amid the widespread devastation there. In the aftermath of the disaster, which has killed more than 2,400 people, injured 5,900 and left many more homeless, development workers said that continued aftershocks, a crippled transport network and the loss of power in parts of the country had made it tough to search for survivors and distribute much-needed supplies.

Looking East / Maid Culture Gets Warm Welcome in Mexico

The Japan News | Apr 26, 2015

The lecture at UNAM was packed with about 500 students, with many people standing. Around the end of the lecture, I invited Hitomi to the stage and with her spoke to the audience about why maid cafes have become one of the icons of Japan’s pop culture and why they attract foreign visitors.In a nutshell, these cafes seriously entertain their customers by providing them with an experience which is completely different from their daily lives.

Fajr Festival Helps Iran Improve Public Diplomacy

Tehran Times | Apr 26, 2015

Cinema Organization of Iran Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi said that Fajr International Film Festival helps Iran improve public diplomacy in the world. He made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the international section of the 33rd edition of the festival held at Tehran’s Mellat Cinema Complex on Saturday.

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