Watch this video of Paul Smith, Director of British Council USA, who discusses British identity and Islam.
Britain made a plea for international help to deal with the world's worst Ebola outbreak at the start of a conference in London on Thursday, with one charity warning that five people are being infected with the virus every hour in Sierra Leone.
Britain is to set up a medical centre to treat victims of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, the international development secretary said on Monday. The 62-bed centre near the capital Freetown is planned to be open in eight weeks' time and will be built and operated by military engineers and medical staff. The worst-ever outbreak of the disease has killed 491 people in Sierra Leone, which is one of three countries at the centre of an epidemic that has claimed over 2,000 lives so far.
It is easy to think of defence spending as building tanks, but it is also the optical equipment and computer technology that makes them work and which ends up having a commercial economic benefit. It can also fund innovative, scientific and other research, often at universities, that might not otherwise take place. That being said, there is no shortage of global economic innovation now, outside of defence, in areas such as stem cells, robotics, 3D printing or green technology.
It is hard to think of two countries that have more in common than Australia and Britain. We share a language and a rich history – and, in the main, a sense of humour. We are both maritime trading nations. Australia inherited many fine British institutions including parliamentary democracy and the common law. Yet, as a recent Lowy Institute poll demonstrates, too often the relationship is focused on the past rather than the future, on sentiment rather than shared interests. More than eight in 10 Australians see the Australia-Britain bilateral relationship as important.
Instead of hiding behind America’s military shield, Europe needs to spend on arms to protect its security interests, according to Nick Witney. In the run-up to last December’s European Union defence summit, British general Nick Houghton warned Britain’s armed forces risked being “hollowed out.”Too little of Britain’s reduced defence budget was being spent on personnel, he noted, and too much on “exquisite” equipment bought for the wrong reasons. “We must also be careful,” he cautioned, “that the defence budget is not disproportionately used to support the British defence industry.”
Australians retain warmer feelings to other English-speaking nations than to their neighbors in Asia, according to a new poll. But Britain rated only third, behind the United States and New Zealand, in the Lowy Institute poll, the results of which were released on Tuesday. The poll by the Sydney-based institute asked respondents to nominate Australia's 'best friend' from a list of six countries.
Soft power is influence. I do blither on about the soft power of the arts, especially literature, but I’m not wrong. The act of reading changes the world more and for the better than war does, and since Britain is one of the most prolifically literate nations on earth, it still has a say in how the planet is run (badly but it could be worse). Britain, a tiny island, still rates, and soft power is its currency.