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.

Olympic Athletes Wearing Masks Could Cause China to Lose Face

Chinese officials insist the notorious Beijing air will be cleaner by August, making face masks unnecessary. If athletes deploy the masks, they risk insulting the hosts. At the moment, there is no stated policy on mask-wearing at the opening ceremony or during competition. Olympic officials believe it's up to the international federation of each sport to determine whether to allow masks during events.

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Hong Kong’s Olympic Kowtow

To ensure a successful Olympics, China has cracked down on all manner of free speech and association. Now, Hong Kong is following the mainland's lead.

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Beijing Olympics: Battle for Gold Offers China First Chance to ‘Defeat’ America

The Olympic host is straining every sinew to dislodge the US from the top of the medals table, a badge of global superpower status.

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Networks Fight Shorter Olympic Leash

Many at the network are concerned about how they will be permitted to cover any unscheduled events, like political protests or government crackdowns — or whether the Chinese government will allow them to cover such things at all. But will NBC shy from coverage of any protests? If it does NBC risks being criticized in the West for kowtowing to China — particularly since its corporate parent, General Electric, is aggressively expanding its investments in China.

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U.S.-Africa Relations to Militarize?

Africom is slated to begin operations in September. It marks the Pentagon's first centralized operation for Africa, like the Defense Dept. now has, for example, Eucom for Europe or Centcom for the Middle East. The Pentagon, though, has envisioned using Africom as more than a military command. It is designed to help build U.S. soft power in Africa, through what it calls "active security" missions -- like building schools and digging wells.

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Update: Paper Responds to Alhurra Payment Story

A number of weeks ago, we published a story about payments made by Alhurra, the U.S. government-funded Arabic news channel, to guest commentators on the network...the paper responded today with a comment from executive editor Stephen Smith: "we expect members of our staff to not accept remuneration for activities that would in any way compromise their work or even create an appearance of a conflict of interest.

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Excitement Growing in Germany as Obama Speech Nears

After much debate, presumptive US presidential candidate Barack Obama will speak in front of Berlin’s Victory Column on Thursday. "Obamania" in Germany is now in full swing as the country awaits a political rock star.

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Obama Campaign Hires Muslim Liaison

Obama's campaign has created a Muslim liaison, according to two sources familiar with the move. The sources said the job was likely to be filled by Haim Nawas, a Jordanian-American who filled a similar role for the campaign of General Wesley Clark in 2004...Nawas wrote in 2005 that the Bush Administration should take a more nuanced approach to public diplomacy directed at Muslim women.

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