As Concerns Continue to Build, will a Qatar World Cup Really Happen?

Sports Illustrated | Aug 1, 2014

Qatar’s World Cup organizers view this ground as a blank canvas for a new era in the Middle East, a way to advance their society and use soft power—i.e., the world’s most popular sport—to promote the country’s foreign policy.

Conventional Military has Lost Power

The Boston Globe | Aug 1, 2014

Successful countries of the 21st century will be those that are skillful at public diplomacy, cultural politics, and alliance-building. In the past, because of our military power, we have not had to develop those skills. We will have to learn them if we hope to project power in the future.

These U.S. ‘Diplomats’ Wield Fiddles and Dance Moves, not Briefcases

McClatchy DC | Aug 1, 2014

Every year, the State Department and nonprofit groups help send musical troupes, dance groups and teachers abroad to promote American culture and generate goodwill. It’s all part of cultural diplomacy, an idea that got its start with the “jazz ambassadors” at the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s.

India Needs More Than BRICS

The Diplomat | Aug 1, 2014

To transform India into a global manufacturing power with long-term sustainable growth of 9-10 percent, India needs to develop bilateral relations with countries boasting cutting-edge technological prowess: Japan, South Korea, Germany, Britain, France, Israel and the United States, rather than pursue the Goldman Sachs-created fiction of the BRICS, a random grouping of countries that have neither the inner coherence nor the collective vision to achieve a global economic power shift.

#Gaza: Social Media Amplifies New Voice in Mideast Conflict

Voice of America | Aug 1, 2014

Maysoon Khatib's Facebook page is usually devoted to fun-filled images and anecdotes detailing her sometimes harried life as a mother of four children.  But lately, the Kentucky woman's social media posts have taken a somber turn. Instead of snapshots of her kids at summer camp, Khatib is sharing urgent messages about the destruction thousands of miles away in Gaza.

Is North Korea on Your Tourism Bucket List?

Al Jazeera | Aug 1, 2014

A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.  Visitors can circumnavigate the country if they wish, although the itinerary is filled with propaganda with tour guides enthusiastically trumpeting the nation’s achievements and industrial advancement.

Thai Coup Elicits Mixed Global Reaction

Bangkok Post | Aug 1, 2014

As Thailand’s armed forces fan out across its body politic and economy, the country’s international standing is increasingly challenged.  The tough responses from Western and some Asian governments are set to remain stiff and perhaps intensify if basic individual rights are further violated and threatened. 

Israel-Gaza Conflict Puts Interfaith Relations to the Test

Huffington Post | Aug 1, 2014

The seemingly awkward exchange between two friends -- the duo co-authored a book last year on Muslim-Jewish relations -- underscored a unique challenge that confronts the rabbis, imams, pastors and other religious activists engaged in the vast, growing network of U.S. interfaith relations that has blossomed since Sept. 11, 2001.

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