This Thursday (23.01), after meeting with the FIFA President Joseph Blatter, at the organisation’s headquarters in Zurich (Switzerland), President Dilma Rousseff stated that Brazil is ready to stage the “World Cup of World Cups”. During the meeting, interventions against racism and discrimination were discussed, as well as actions aimed at promoting peace and female football.

One man said he wouldn’t want his prostate checked by a female doctor who wore a head-to-toe chador. Another said Montreal is already “strange” to the rest of Quebec and could get stranger. A former nun said she switched cashes at Staples rather than be served by a woman in Muslim head scarf. The Parti Québécois government wrapped up the first week of hearings into its highly contentious Charter of Values.

We don't have any idea whether soccer star Nicolas Anelka is a racist or an anti-Semite. Until yesterday he had no record of being either. One thing is certain: He is no fool. In the wake of his celebration of the first of two goals he scored for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United on Saturday, using the "quenelle" - a wink-wink disguised version of the Nazi salute - he didn't issue any apologies or denials.

A Twitter conversation on Asian American feminism using the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick quickly became a global discussion aimed at breaking silence around issues faced by Asian communities. Writer Suey Park launched the hashtag, which was used nearly 50,000 times in less than a day.

At the 1964 trial that convicted Nelson Mandela and his co-accused, and sent them to prison for life, he made a statement to the packed courthouse, which he repeated on his release in 1990, after 27 years in detention. "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said. "It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

The French are checking their pockets and searching their souls. The problem is the in-your-face presence of a few thousand Roma immigrants, mostly from Bulgaria and Romania, who are blamed for petty thievery, begging, camping illegally on public lands, sleeping under bridges or on grates in the city street and a host of minor crimes that the French authorities seem unable to control.

Mexico's Aeromexico airline and its ad agency have apologized for a producer's casting call requesting that only light-skinned people apply as actors for a television commercial. Mexico's population is largely dark-skinned, but Mexican television ads routinely feature light-skinned actors, sparking accusations of racial discrimination. The commercial has not yet been made, but the casting call specified it wanted "nobody dark skinned," only actors with "white skin."

When the Chinese government spends vast amounts in Africa to set up communications infrastructure for dictators to flood the populace with their messages, public diplomacy has a new dimension. China is also offering this same region a propaganda-free news service, at a vastly cheaper cost than traditional Western news services. This is a sign of soft power and strategic influence are now going online.