Can a building that meets rigorous security standards also be beautiful, and if so, at what cost? Modern embassy design revolves around this question. [...] Yet embassies aren't just meant to shield Foreign Service officers from harm. They are also the face the United States presents to the world. For many people, it's the first point of contact with its government, and a visual key to American values.
The State Department is now quietly allowing dozens of young women and minority students to become full-fledged diplomats after threatening to rescind job offers that most of the students were given two years ago upon winning prestigious scholarships. The concession, issued without announcement on Thursday, came after an intense lobbying campaign by members of Congress and retired diplomats. They persuaded Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to reverse his earlier decision to delay the students’ hiring into the Foreign Service indefinitely.
"How can U.S. public diplomacy...maintain any credibility given what appears to be an openly Islamophobic administration?" asks Mieczysław P. Boduszyński.
Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday afternoon attended a signing ceremony for cooperation agreement on the development of the Hong Kong Palace Museum. The mainland and the Hong Hong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will carry out cooperation in areas including relic display, personnel training and people-to-people exchange, according to the agreement.
The State Department and USAID are often conflated as parts of America’s “soft power” apparatus. And it’s true that in the broadest sense they seek to, as a joint mission statement puts it, “shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world, and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.” But beyond that they are dissimilar in every important way: The tasks they perform, what they value, their operating principles and how they carry out their work are profoundly different.
Rex Tillerson is clamping down further on hiring as part of his push to overhaul the U.S. State Department, in a move likely to exacerbate concerns that a large number of unfilled jobs is diminishing his agency’s role in shaping foreign policy. In a memo sent June 26 and obtained by Bloomberg News, bureaus are ordered to temporarily stop all transfers and reassignments and are barred from appointing new envoys. Any other request to “increase, expand or proliferate organization structures in the Department” must also be stopped.
As right-wing populism has roiled elections and upended politics across the West, there is one country where populists have largely failed to break through: Canada. [...] Identity works differently in Canada. Both whites and nonwhites see Canadian identity as something that not only can accommodate outsiders, but is enhanced by the inclusion of many different kinds of people.
Madhurjya Kotoky discusses the importance of India's new endeavor into space diplomacy.