The U.S. Department of State announced today that Haitian troubadours Ti-Coca & Wanga-Nègès will travel to communities across America as part of a groundbreaking cultural diplomacy initiative, Center StageSM, from September 18-October 14, 2012.

“At a time when the United States seems very much in need of public diplomacy in the Middle East, in cases such as these, scholars, the host countries and the American public are all losers,” said Maurice Pomerantz, a Fulbright scholar who’d planned to spend the year teaching comparative literature in Lebanon but was relocated to Jordan because of the State Department’s security concerns.

Over the past several weeks national sentiments in China and Japan have been enflamed by activists from both countries landing on disputed islands in the East China Sea. As this battle has raged, a separate one has been held on the Chinese microblog site Weibo, which boasts more than 300 million users.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has added a culinary dimension to the exercise of "smart power" by enlisting 80 top chefs including an Indian-American in the aid of diplomacy....Mumbai native Vikram Sunderam, executive chef at Rasika, a top end Indian restaurant in Washington, is part of the State Department's new Diplomatic Culinary Partnership initiative.

In reaction to a question on my Facebook and Twitter, the response to the prospects of Pakistan-Israel dialogue has been clearly positive. Out of a total of 76 feedbacks that I received, 90 percent were in support of the dialogue while less than 10 percent expressed concerns due to political reasons and clouded judgement...

These are some of the reasons we established +972 Magazine. We are a group of independent journalists and bloggers who came together to carry on debates in English. That helps both internationalize the conversation, while allowing Israelis and Palestinians to join in as well, with only a minor language hurdle. The content is free and accessible to all, and that’s because all of our writing is on a volunteer basis.

As part of growing business relations and exchanges between Zimbabwe and the United States, eight Zimbabwean local government officials today in Chicago concluded a ten-day visit to three U.S. cities.

Comparing China's public diplomacy to sports activities, where both professionals and public support are critical to success, Zheng addressed a group of top government officials, international affairs experts, and media professionals at the 2012 Charhar public diplomacy conference in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province on Aug. 18.