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.

Sustainable Approaches to Cultural Diplomacy

Future cultural diplomats will need to recognize this fact and work more closely to implement programs with a wide range of soft powers, in the economic sphere as well as in the cultural one. Sustainable investments in cultural diplomacy are the best way of achieving longer term results, rather than the ‘Madison Avenue’ short term and short sighted approaches that have characterised US cultural diplomacy in recent years.

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Artists to fete Viet Nam-Canada ties

Two Vietnamese-Canadian artists will perform with the Viet Nam National Opera and Ballet in a concert to celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as commemorate Canadian Day.

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Rep Calls for Investigation of Alhurra

The ranking member of the House foreign relations committee thinks it's time Congress takes a hard look at Alhurra. In a letter today (pdf), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) requests that Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) "hold immediate oversight hearings and initiate an investigation" of the troubled U.S.-backed channel.

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China to intensify scrutiny over drugs during Olympics

China will inspect all inbound cargoes and parcels during the 2008 Olympics as part of its anti-drug effort for the event, Liu Guangping, director of the general office of the General Administration of Customs, said on Monday.

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Beijing strives to improve air quality as Games draw near

"Between June 23 and July 19, only half of the 22,800 vehicles used by all-level party organs, governments and public institutions under the Beijing administration will be allowed to use the road," a traffic ban issued by the Beijing Municipal Government stated. The ban was among the latest pre-Olympic drives to ease the capital's traffic congestion, and more importantly, to improve air quality.

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Long road back to China for coach

James Li is American 1500m and 5000m star Bernard Lagat's personal coach and the associate head coach at the University of Arizona. He is also the manager of the U.S. Olympic men's track team. There may not be a more vital member of the entire American delegation. A handsome, soft-spoken man, Li was born in China and educated at its most prestigious sports institute. Many of China's top sports officials are his peers. When no one from the United States could get a peek inside Beijing's Olympic Stadium, Li knew whom to call.

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Getting this off my chest about the Olympics

I’m puzzled by a series of deliberate and inadvertent decisions that, if you didn’t know better, you might think were designed to turn the whole spectacle into a source of friction rather than pride for China. None of these steps is news on its own. Collectively the pattern is discouraging, and puzzling too.

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When ‘The Free One’ becomes ‘The Failed One’

At first blush, there’s nothing especially wrong with the notion of the U.S. government trying to improve the nation’s image in the Middle East. After the attacks of 9/11, American officials knew we had some work to do in the region. After the fiasco in Iraq, those same officials surely noticed that the nation’s reputation had been tarnished, and was even more in need of rehabilitation. It’s how the Bush administration went about making these improvements that’s the problem.

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