For Greater Europe We Must Embrace People-To-People Cooperation

The Huffington Post | Apr 27, 2015

It is necessary to protect the ongoing people-to-people cooperation from becoming yet another bargaining chip in the game of sanctions and counter-sanctions. To the extent possible, the people-to-people dimension of the EU-Russia relations should be insulated from the negative developments in security, political and economic dimensions.

Nepal Earthquake: India’s Soft Power Strategy on Display

Live Mint | Apr 27, 2015

As one of quake-stricken Nepal’s closest neighbours—sharing a common frontier with road and air connectivity, open borders that do not require visas, besides cultural, language and other commonalities between the two, India was perhaps the best placed to offer succour to Nepal.

Art Exhibit Lets Vision-Impaired Visitors Touch Masterpieces At Madrid Museum

PBS | Apr 27, 2015

A couple of million people visit the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, each year to see the world-famous works of art, such as “The Annunciation,” “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” and “Las Meninas.” Now, for the first time, the museum is attracting a set of patrons who are able to experience the artwork in a different way: By touching it.

What Are the Consequences of Taking Cuba Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List?

The Huffington Post | Apr 27, 2015

It clarifies Cuba in America's official narrative not as a security threat but a country in transition, which is more in line both with Cuba's own self-image and how Latin American and European countries see it. Such a description undermines any rationality for the embargo and lends itself to a U.S. policy that emphasizes engagement and people to people contacts.

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. 

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