Britain’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a major campaign on Thursday to attract an extra 4.6 million tourists to the U.K. through advertisements in 14 cities worldwide. The goal of the to maximize the tourism and business potential generated by Britain’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics.

Cambridge University has come under pressure to reveal the identity of a mysterious Chinese foundation that is donating £3.7 million for a new professorship, amid fears that the pressure to raise funds may have exposed it to backdoor diplomacy by Beijing, which granted China an opportunity to deploy "soft power".

December 6, 2011

To be sure, the arrival in Scotland of Tian Tian and Yang Guang has been accompanied by a flurry of diplomatic activity. But underlying these friendly overtures is the stark truth that China's panda diplomacy just isn't what it used to be.

Two giant pandas arrived in Scotland on Sunday. British officials said the 10-year loan of the bears by China strengthened ties between the two countries. Over the years, Beijing gave pandas away as goodwill tokens. The black-and-white bear still apparently inspires warm feelings that span across borders. The difference is, now China makes you pay for it.

Britain is spending £10m to tackle deforestation in Brazil in an effort to protect wildlife and reduce carbon emission. For years, the UK has pledged £2.9bn for projects to tackle climate change, especially to reduce emissions associated with deforestation, which comprise almost a fifth of annual global emissions.

For much of the past decade, “soft power” has been touted as a means for making foreign policy more effective by emphasizing enticement rather than coercion, conversation rather than conflict. The concept has won applause, but putting it into practice has often been half-hearted...In an era in which revolutions rely more on social media than on machine guns, soft power will be ascendant.

The eagerly-anticipated new Jewish community center moved a step closer to completion with a ceremony marking the start of building what will be one of the largest Jewish community centers in Europe. The community centers host an array of events and activities that invigorate Jewish life and also cater to the local community and other faiths.