A curated selection of public diplomacy-relevant news from a global cross-section of English-language media outlets, including independent, corporate-owned, and state-sponsored sources. The stories featured don't necessarily represent CPD's views nor have they been verified by CPD.

Taiwan’s ‘Hacker Minister’ Reshaping Digital Democracy

Taiwan’s “digital minister,” Audrey Tang, a computer prodigy and entrepreneur who taught herself programming at age 8, says she’s a “civic hacker” who like a locksmith uses specialized skills to help rather than harm. Appointed by leaders hoping to better connect with young voters who helped sweep independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen into office last year, the 35-year-old Tang is using her expertise to more directly involve the public in policymaking, and to counter “fake news.”

Tags: digital diplomacy & new tech, government pd, taiwan, asia, democracy, fake news, policymaking

In 'Bollywood Boom', Swaminathan Outlines India's Rising Soft Power

Bollywood may sound just like a step-sister of Hollywood; however, the language, syntax, grammar and scale of both the industries are poles apart. What was it then that allowed Bollywood to establish its stronghold not only in Hollywood but in other continents like Africa and Europe, and countries like Africa, China and Japan. National Award winning author Roopa Swaminathan's book Bollywood Boom: India's Rising Soft Power explores that and much more.

Tags: soft power, Cultural Diplomacy, arts & culture, cinema diplomacy, bollywood, india, nollywood, africa

How to Make a Difference in the World While Traveling

“A ‘citizen diplomat mindset’ means being intentional when interacting with individuals from a different country by believing that one of your roles is to positively represent the United States,” explained Jennifer Clinton, president of citizen diplomacy non-profit Global Ties. “Our reality today is that citizens around the world are having much greater influence on local, national, and international relations.”

Tags: citizen diplomacy, international exchange, tourism, travel, volunteering, mutual understanding, global ties, cultural vistas

How ISIS Disseminates Propaganda over the Internet & How to Fight Back

To fight terrorist propaganda on the Internet, social media companies, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all instituted take down policies and teamed up with Microsoft to create a database of unique ‘fingerprints’ to automatically detect terrorist propaganda in the form of images and videos. [...] Despite these efforts, however, ISIS still continues to successfully disseminate its propaganda on the internet.

Tags: Digital Diplomacy & New Technology, social media diplomacy, counter narratives, counter-propaganda, counter-extremism, counter-terrorism, disruption, propaganda, isis

Vice President Pence Tries Hand at Koala Diplomacy Down Under

Pence, his wife Karen, and their two adult daughters, Charlotte and Audrey, saw some of the sights of Sydney, investing time in soft diplomacy on the last leg of a 10-day Asia tour that has been rich with symbolism about shoring up American economic ties and security cooperation. Karen Pence - who earlier charmed a meet-and-greet with embassy families with her pronunciation of "G'day" - held out a handful of chicory to Widji, an emu who boldly pecked at the bunch.

Tags: koala diplomacy, mike pence, karen pence, soft diplomacy, bilateral cooperation, bilateral ties, bilateral relations, australia, u.s.

International 'March for Science' Called Unprecedented by Organizers

Scientists on Saturday took the unprecedented step of staging marches in more than 600 cities worldwide in the face of what they see as a growing political assault on evidence-based knowledge. Thousands of scientists and their supporters attended March for Science events in such cities as Cape Town, London, Madrid and Seoul, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Nigeria. [...] The March for Science thrusted scientists, who generally avoid advocacy and whose work is based on impartial experimentation, into a more visible spotlight.

Tags: international advocacy, march for science, science & technology, climate change, environmental protection agency, washington d.c., berlin, geneva, london

The Curious Case of North Korea in Cambodia

On a quiet midweek evening on the streets of the Cambodian capital, the Pyongyang Restaurant is at near capacity. Inside the square room, adorned with dramatic landscape murals, music starts to blast. Waitresses in bright traditional Korean garb drop their trays and pick up their instruments. With great skill they twirl in formation and belt out odes to the homeland. It is patriotic, unapologetic North Korea thousands of miles from the secretive state.

Tags: bilateral relations, bilateral ties, soft power, Angkor Panorama Museum, angkor wat, kim jong-nam, phnom penh, cambodia, pyongyang, north korea, dprk

Earth Day: Climate Change, Conflict and Extreme Poverty

Earth Day has become a worldwide call to action to address the many critical consequences of climate change and global warming: deforestation, species extinction, ocean acidification, rising seas, extreme weather. The impacts of climate change are also acutely felt in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Africa – over 40% of the continent. While residents of these regions are accustomed to extended dry seasons, the cycles of drought are now more severe. ​

Tags: earth day, global aid & development, climate change, poverty, africa, non state pd, united nations

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