europe

China has begun using the One-Belt-One-Road project, rechristened the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI), for expanding diplomatic engagement and securing strategic mileage. India might find itself strategically cramped as several countries from Asia and Europe get more committed to the Chinese connectivity plan, leaving India isolated. In a major public diplomacy exercise, China has announced scholarships for at least 3,000 students from countries and regions around BRI.

Over the past decade, Sweden’s public diplomacy has been quick to affirm the low-hanging fruit of cosmopolitan global public opinion, which might be summarized as the belief that Sweden could well be the most fairly organized society in the world. It is the country that, according to the Good Country Index, makes the most prolific contribution to the global commons. Its feminist foreign policy is currently making waves at the UN Security Council. 

Stopfake.org, a group of researchers from the Mohyla School of Journalism in Kyiv, have identified two strong narratives in their study of Russian propaganda about the Euro Maidan: first, that it was a coup d’état directed by the U.S.; and second, that power was seized in Kyiv by a fascist regime. [...] With a lack of clear narratives and facts from the Ukrainian government, the Western media fell for the Kremlin’s skillful falsehoods.

The dynamics of the global economy are shifting apace. With uncertainty in developed markets such as the UK, the US and Europe, many brands are looking beyond their traditional customer bases in search of new opportunities and sources of growth. Africa, the world’s poorest continent but also the most untapped by consumer brands, looks set to benefit.

Our hyper-connected world has put more power in the hands of individuals and other non-state actors – from NGOs like Greenpeace to transnational terror groups like the so-called Islamic State. Over the past decade, foreign ministries have responded by becoming increasingly sophisticated in their communication strategies. Diplomats need to communicate directly with foreign publics to explain foreign policies, and to mobilize governments and civil society to support their aims.

April 12, 2017

Facebook’s management has been reluctant to accept responsibility for a flow of fake news via FB that seems to have played a significant role — just like the Kremlin’s cover campaign of bots, hacking and leaks — in last year’s election. If we are determined to go after Russian “bots” and trolls, shouldn’t we also demand more accountability from those who influence greatly the news we are “fed” via social media?

The 7th International Earth Science Convention will begin here [in Havana] tomorrow with geologists, geophysicists and miners from Latin America, North America, Europe and Africa. Organized by the Cuban Geological Society, the congresses of Geology, Mining, Geophysics, Informatics and Geosciences as well as the Oil and Gas Congress will be held in parallel. [...] Geosciences 2017, as it is also called, will be attended by Latin American researchers from Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Haiti.

Overcoming barriers is part of every immigrant's struggle. African women living in Germany have been sharing their experiences in a meeting intended to boost morale and better equip them to deal with life here. [...] The gathering was the brainchild of Sierra Leonean Sarah Bomkapre Kamara, a co-founder of Moving Women Empowerment. Kamara, a PhD student in Munich, brought the women together to discuss issues which are particularly common among African women.

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