Latin Concert at PAC to Aid Sister Cities Program

SCV News | Aug 28, 2015

The Santa Clarita Sister Cities Program is a proud member of Sister Cities International (SCI), a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network creating and strengthening partnerships between U.S. and international communities in an effort to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate economic development. Currently, the City of Santa Clarita has international Sister Cities in Tena, Ecuador and Sariaya, Philippines.

A Brief History of Panda Diplomacy

New York Times | Aug 28, 2015

Two musk oxen for a pair of giant pandas. Who would make that trade? The Chinese did, when President Richard M. Nixon was on his world-changing trip to China in 1972. [...] Panda diplomacy has had a long history, but before Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing arrived in the United States (not long after Nixon returned from his trip), there hadn’t been a giant panda here for more than 20 years.

Soft Power Outage

The Asian Age | Aug 27, 2015

A comprehensive new ranking of countries labelled “Soft Power 30” by a London-based political consultancy, Portland Communications, carries a rude awakening for India. We are nowhere when it comes to being attractive and influential in the world, falling outside the top 30 nations for universally liked culture, widely admired political values and positively engaged foreign policy.

Egypt Launches English Blog to Counter 'Inaccurate Reports' by Foreign Media

The Guardian | Aug 27, 2015

Egypt has launched a new English blog to “enhance its communication with the world” and to address “inaccurate” reports about the country in foreign media. Launched this week under the name Egypt MFA Blog: Egypt Connects, the blog aims to create an “informal platform” for those interested in the country’s foreign policy, according to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. 

Who’s Doing the Talking on Twitter?

The Atlantic | Aug 27, 2015

The future of Twitter is really the future of the global town square—an answer to the question of whether social media can really offer a friction-less, unfiltered forum for real-time conversation across countries and cultures, or whether those conversations will increasingly occur less visibly and more narrowly. 

Newbury Scouts Take a Trip to Uganda

Newbury Today | Aug 27, 2015

An intrepid group of seven Explorer Scouts from the Newbury and Kennet district have just returned from a successful trip to Uganda where they spent 18 days helping to build and refurbish schools in Butagaya and Iwololo. The project was undertaken in partnership with charity Soft Power Education, which works with communities in Uganda to improve their quality of life through education.

Congress, Don’t Isolate America Again Over Iran

Politico | Aug 27, 2015

If Congress rejects the deal, we will project globally an America that is internally divided, unreliable, and dismissive of the views of those with whom we built Iran’s sanctions architecture in the first place. I and other American diplomats around the world draw every day on our nation’s soft power, which greatly enhances our ability to mobilize other countries to our side.

Patronage of Art Can Promote Country’s Positive Image Abroad

Pakistan Observer | Aug 27, 2015

President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan is home to rich cultural heritage and stressed that patronage of arts and literature can promote the country’s positive image abroad. The President expressed these views at the inauguration of an exhibition of Arabic calligraphy organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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