April 19, 2011

But what to give the man who has everything? How about a $223 million contract to broadcast Australia Network, the government's overseas television station that reaches more than 34 million households in 44 countries throughout Asia, the Pacific and the Indian subcontinent.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will today launch a photographic exhibition, Through Australian Eyes, which recognises the significant contribution of Australian civilians working in Afghanistan. Mr. Rudd welcomes the exhibition, which emphasises the important role development assistance and diplomacy plays in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and the security gains being made in Afghanistan.

Julia Gillard's speech to the US congress today celebrates the six-decade history of Australia's geopolitical alliance with the US, built on the two countries' deep stock of shared values and interests and manifested by their fighting side by side in every significant international conflict, from World War II to Afghanistan.

Julia Gillard's first visit to Washington as Prime Minister has been a public relations triumph. But the jury is still out on whether Ms Gillard's informal and relaxed meeting with Barack Obama has driven genuine progress in the Australia-US relationship or provided little more than an extended photo opportunity.

As the Cold War was ending in the late 1980s and early '90s, Western nations, confident of a lasting peace, began to neglect the tools that had sustained them in the ideological war against communism. In the US, institutions of public diplomacy and strategic communications were disbanded...

Half of Australians harbour anti-Muslim sentiments and a quarter are anti-Semitic, according to the biggest survey ever done on racism in this country. One in three also admit some level of racist feelings against indigenous people, reported the Herald Sun.

China will pay NSW [New South Wales] schools more than $200,000 to promote its language and culture in a move hailed by second-language advocates but seen by others as part of a Chinese "soft power" offensive.