The latest experiment at Canada’s foreign affairs ministry trades the dry language of diplomacy for the chatty tone of the social Web in a pair of “listicles” written on BuzzFeed.

George W. Bush offered some solid advice to aspiring artists during an interview with CNN over the weekend: “Never paint your wife or mother.” The former U.S. president-cum-painter, whose paintings include self-portraits, family members and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other world leaders, appeared on the program to discuss his new book about his father titled “41: A Portrait of My Father.” The book cover includes a portrait of George H.W. Bush painted by his son.

December 15, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin has nearly completed his purge of independent news media in Russia.  “This is not just a war of information,” says one keen analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  “It is a war on information.”

American sanctions and New Cold War policy has driven these Asian countries together in association with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an alternative to NATO, and in the BRICS moves to avoid dealing with the dollar area, the IMF and World Bank austerity programs. 

December 13, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s covert aggression in Ukraine continues – and so do Western sanctions against his country. But the economy is not all that is under threat; Russia’s soft power is dwindling, with potentially devastating results.

What is power today? Who has it, and who will prevail? Right now, 19th-century hard power is confronting 21st-century soft power. Although hard power appears to have the edge, don’t write off the soft power, and especially economic might.

Russia under President Vladimir Putin doesn't rely much on soft power to get its way abroad, in the same way it doesn't do much liberal democracy at home. It does, however, do manipulation, and Europe is only just waking up to how much and how well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was cooperative and constructive when asked for his help in allowing investigators access to the MH17 crash site in Ukraine, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Saturday.