smart & soft power

July 18, 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta has many women - in his Presidency. [...] Unlike his old man, President Uhuru has many women who, behind the scenes, are said to be the ‘soft power’ of his presidency. And more than ever before, these women hold crucial positions even as Uhuru bids for a second term in the do-or-die August 8 General Election.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Chinese city of Dalian this week for the so-called Summer Davos comes at a time when China is assuming a greater global profile. [...] This week’s forum is not the first time this year that China has used the WEF to position itself positively on the world stage.

Through its Petrocaribe initiative, Venezuela has sold discounted oil to energy-deficient clients, practically giving it away in some cases. Lately, however, that generosity has diminished with Venezuela's economic misfortunes, hastened by tumbling global prices for oil -- the country's only viable source of export revenues. Even Brazil, with a fraction of Venezuela's reserves, now pumps 25 percent more oil.

The first time could have been chalked up to charming idiosyncrasy. [...] But the third and fourth times that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada wore themed socks on a public occasion, it seemed clear that something more calculated was going on. You’ve heard of fashion diplomacy, or frock diplomacy? The practice whereby a female politician, or the wife of a world leader, uses clothing to convey unspoken messages about a platform or position, or as a form of outreach? Well, this is clearly sock diplomacy.

Sheikh Mohammed spoke about several topics, including the importance of Emiratis maintaining a strong positive reputation at all times. Every action, he said, good or bad, will reflect the image of our nation.

Germany had its first taste of panda mania on Saturday as two furry ambassadors arrived from China to begin a new life as stars of Berlin's premier zoo.

China's soft power as the world's biggest property buyer is under severe strain due to a government crackdown on capital flight and the Qatar controversy, which is expected to drive a lot of Arab money into the property market in western countries.

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