The Perils of an Itchy Twitter Finger

Foreign Policy | Jul 23, 2014

Trying to cram a nuanced view on the tragedy in Ukraine into 140 characters was a mistake. Taking a closer look at the West's role is not.  I had a valuable learning experience last week, prompted by a hasty tweet I sent out on the subject of Ukraine.

Road Tripping Through North Korea – in Pictures

The Guardian | Jul 23, 2014

Journalists, tour guides and tourists are increasingly using Instagram to capture snapshots of life in the DPRK. Here's a selection of our recent favourites, from a 1400-mile road trip through farming hinterland to a day out at the dolphinarium.

A New Beginning with Nepal

The Hindu | Jul 22, 2014

For too long, India has ignored the changing political narrative in Nepal. We remained content that Indian interests were safeguarded by quiet diplomacy even when Nepali leaders publicly adopted anti-India postures — an approach started by the Palace in the 1950s and adopted particularly by the Left parties as a means of demonstrating “nationalist credentials.” Ignored by India, it has had long-term negative consequences. Appropriately targeted public diplomacy initiatives are necessary to address this.

Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Italy Condemn Antisemitic Protests

The Guardian | Jul 22, 2014

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Italy have condemned antisemitic violence at protests against Israel's invasion of Gaza and pledged to do all they can to combat it. While the majority of pro-Palestinian protests in Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, Amsterdam and other cities have taken place peacefully, some have descended into verbal and physical attacks on Jews and Jewish property, including synagogues and shops.

Osmani Castillo - Cuban Chef Came to China for Love

China Daily | Jul 22, 2014

While Castillo is not a diplomat, the gregarious restaurateur has made Caribeno a cultural outpost for his country. Chinese and expats come not only for the food but the lively music and the recently organized Friday-night salsa performances. Photos on the wall include ambassadors and entrepreneurs from many Latin countries, as well as scenes of Havana life, Caribbean beaches and icons like Che Guevara, who looks across the restaurant from an enlarged print of a Cuban 3-peso bill.

All Hail 'Fatty Kim the Third'

Foreign Policy | Jul 22, 2014

It's North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as the world has never seen him. In a three-minute clip that has accumulated over 200,000 views after its early July posting on Chinese video site Tudou, a crudely photoshopped Kim dances on the street, on a baseball diamond, and in a cornfield, at various moments accompanied by Barack Obama or Osama bin Laden. 

A Cautionary Tale of Soft Power Promotion

CPD Blog | Jul 22, 2014

China’s increasing involvement in Africa has captured considerable attention from policymakers and academics. Formalized in a 2006 policy statement, “China’s Africa Policy,” Beijing’s interest in the region translates into Chinese government and government-affiliated institutions investing billions of dollars in large-scale construction projects across the continent.

SA Brands Play Key Role in Promoting Country

Business Day Live | Jul 22, 2014

Brand SA and Brand Finance will tomorrow announce the country’s top 50 commercial brands.  Why does this announcement matter to our overall nation brand, competitiveness and reputation?  These brands contribute to strong and positive associations of SA across the globe.

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